Yesterday was Chocolate Tuesday. I did indeed buy some bars of chocolate (PROPER bars of PROPER chocolate!) and a box of Ferrero Rocher.
I gave the bars to my students, to the secretary/receptionist at Axalta, (the company where I teach one of my students) and I left a couple of slabs in the lift on the way up to the CCI where I teach my other student. The box of FR I gave to the three women who work at the CCI. Frédérique declared herself “touched” and gave me a big kiss. And a Ferrero Rocher! Spreading joy (& possibly some confusion, as I’m not sure I explained it too well!) all around.
And today? Well, we go from the pleasure and simplicity of giving out chocolate to the thorny topic of money. And what you give. Or don’t.
The prompt reads: Money can be difficult to talk about when it comes to generosity. But thinking about how to treat others first, rather than what you’d spend the money on yourself – that can just drastically change your whole perspective on money. So, today’s act is about giving with our money. When money comes your way, what questions are you asking
And the challenges:
This isn’t about the size of your gift – it’s more about whether you prioritise money as a gift. We all have something we can give (even if for some it’s not financial). Put a note in your wallet or purse, reminding yourself that God’s inviting you to offer your best at every transaction. Or put a reminder in your phone for payday.
Who could you creatively gift today? Do you know someone who’s struggling with money? Put their need first and treat them with what you have. That could be dropping off some supermarket vouchers, covering a bus ticket, or taking them out for a meal/movie on you.
Take stock of your finances today: how much are you giving regularly? Are you giving regularly, or just as and when? Is today the day to set up your first financial gift? Or the day to increase it a little? If you want to get your financial giving in better shape this could be a good day to explore opening a Stewardship giving account.
You can read the whole meditation over here
I’m not sure why I feel less comfortable I feel talking about this than, for example, how much chocolate I bought…
I’m not a very organised giver, partly because our finances aren’t organised in the sense that – while we have some idea of how much I’ll earn in the month ahead – we’re not quite sure about the months after that. With Mr FD not earning at the moment, we need to be more careful. But I have my regular giving to church, my 2€ collection, and my Lend with Care account, which Keith kick started for me with a gift voucher, which I then matched. (But that’s not exactly giving, is it? That’s lending!!) I know that, in having a job, house, car, food, warmth, clothes etc. we are indeed among the richest 10% of the world. It just doesn’t feel like it sometimes!
But I’m not sure I fully understand what the Green challenge is asking us to do – does the note remind us to be more generous? What does it mean “God’s inviting you to offer your best at every transaction“? When I pay for my supermarket shop how do I “give my best”? Is it a case of when paying for the less essential items in your trolley (wine, biscuits, crisps…) you recognise how blessed/lucky I am to be able to buy non-essentials, just like that, and so you are grateful? I imagine that, in doing this, you begin to cling to your money less, and be more open to sharing it.
Maybe this one needs more thought. What do you think, dear readers?