Thursday Thoughts

19 02 2009

Ok… the most important part of a regular post is a catchy title, no?

The plan for a Thursday is to share a thought on something topical. It may be something in the media or it may be somethingI have been mulling over. I don’t want to be too prescriptive, I’ve only come up with one so far!

This Thursday I’ve been thinking about giving.

This seed was planted by Ross Gittens’ article in the smh – linked here and here – as well as an email I received contaning this article by Australian ethicist Peter Singer.

Events like the bushfires in Victoria and the floods in Queensland are catalysts for public outpouring of generosity. Everyone gives generously, because that is what is expected. Corporations try to outdo each other in dollars donated. We make no secret that we are donating, because that is what ought to be done.

But what about the rest of the time? What about the people around the world who are suffering and dying every day?

Singer’s article gives a great illustration of the trade-off we all make between our own material possessions and giving being charitable towards the genuine needs of others. It’s a very painful read…

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5 responses

20 02 2009
SamR

Like the title. Good thoughts.

I guess we can’t change others’ habits of giving – but we can make sure that our own house is in order…

22 02 2009
CHONG

Any thoughts on how this translates to Christian giving???

24 02 2009
guthers

For sure!
Although it is impossible to put a dollar figure on “souls saved”, for the Christian, the equivalent thought is, “Am I willing to trade this material thing for the chance to enable someone to spread the gospel?”
The point is, I think, that cheerful giving ought to consider all opportunities/needs, not just the ones stating you in the face.
Also, I need to consider the opportunity cost of not giving. “How could this money be better spent?”

26 02 2009
Nic

Where’s the next thursday thought? You have 3 hours left before I become disillusioned.

3 03 2009
Dave K

I didn’t read any of the articles and Singer normally makes my blood boil so I didn’t go there. But I would want to add the key to generosity is sacrifice. That is how God was a generous towards us – the sacrifice of his Son. And using our freedom for others is the first step towards sacrifice. This is especially true in a climate where we idolise affluence and material stuff. My home is full of false idols!! And if this is true then how are we giving (financially that is) in a sacrificial sense?

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