Sunday, April 30, 2017

7 Points to the Power of Other People’s Giving

The power of other people’s giving has changed the lives of each person on this planet.  For good or ill, we have all been transformed by the giving of others.

Deshaun Watson, recently drafted #12 by the Houston Texans after a stellar career at Clemson, is a recent beneficiary of other people’s giving.  People like Warrick Dunn, drafted #12 in 1997 demonstrated the power of other people's giving.  Here is the story …

It was Watson’s coach, Dabo Swinney, who gave a beautiful reflection … asked the impact on Deshaun, Swinney said … community … Deshaun was able to “experience the power of other people’s giving.”

I invite you to take a moment and list 10 people who have given to make your life better.  I hope your list includes:  parents, siblings, extended family, classmates, teachers / professors, Sunday school teachers, youth group leaders, preachers, elders, neighbors… and more.

Life has a way of forcing us to be vulnerable.  Life is not fair.  Life pushes the issue of our needing others to make it through.  

At the same time, life has a way of tempting us to go it alone.  Sometimes it is the people on my list who hurt us.  That pain tempts us to go it alone to protect ourself. 

I offer some suggestions to remedy the situation.
  1. Thank you …. Writing thank you notes is a curative for the soul.  I could ramble on but rather invite you to experience the power of being thankful.

2.   Be the Power … Give to others!  Pick who you wish to experience ‘the power of other people’s giving.’   Be that power for them.  The deepest smile is enjoyed by those who are ‘the power of other people’s giving.’

3.  As Yourself … Jesus expects his followers to love their neighbor as themself.  If you have / had a need, what would you do to help you?  Do that to help your neighbor!  Not complicated, just different.  Engage a new benchmark.

4.  God First … I invite you to chase God.  My experience is as we chase God we discover God has already found us.  God is loving us before and beyond our knowing.  I invite you to respond to the inspiration of God’s love.

5.  Unconditional Love … Matthew 22:35-40 Jesus expects us to love our neighbor as ourself.  We can pick our neighborhood but not our neighbor.  If we cannot choose our “neighbor” and we are expected to love them as we love ourself, is not this a start to unconditional love?  See #4 … God loves us unconditionally first.

6.  Radical Hospitality … Following the Great Commandment by exercising the Power of Other People’s Giving is a path to radical hospitality.  To be known for our love is to be a host regardless the guest.  Even if you never invite someone to church, if you practice this behavior with each visitor (person whose name you do not know) you will be transformed by God’s love.

7.  Reflective Authenticity … One way I hear this is “I don’t give a sh_t!”  To my soul those words sound like a cry for help?  attention?  absolution?  So close are two sides of a coin.  What if we were true to ourself?  In the presence of others, what if we did not put on airs rather behaved as we feel is true to our self?  Reflect upon who God made you to be and then be that person.  Words like integrity, honesty, and authenticity come to mind.  As do words such as forgiven, loved, accepted, embraced.  

The power of other people’s giving can transform.  Christian community is gathered for this purpose.  

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