By Amy Hauptman

The Joy of Reckless Giving

God wants you to be reckless with your money.

In the Bible, we see Jesus commend a widow who gave recklessly. We also see Jesus himself live a generous life. Remember the story about Jesus feeding 5,000?  Or the time Jesus provided over 100 gallons of wine for a wedding?

Clearly, God is a giver. We should be too. (click to tweet)

On December 3, 2013, a movement called Giving Tuesday invites us to celebrate and practice generosity.

Let me say that again: it’s a holiday focused on generosity.

This is nothing less than amazing, as Thanksgiving is the only other holiday I know of that focuses on practicing a virtue. (If you haven’t noticed, your newsfeeds might be full of things that your friends are thankful for this month.)

I’m inviting you to invite everyone you know to celebrate #GivingTuesday, because not only does our nation need it . . . but also the world needs it. And we need it.

Giving thanks is easy. Giving is hard.

#GivingTuesday provides an opportunity for us to live as Jesus invites us to live and influence the world through generosity.

When Jesus said things like, “Love your neighbor as yourself,” the early Christians took his words literally. If someone in the church had a need, the rest of the community would generously provide for them, whether that was food, clothing, shelter, or even money. Don’t believe me? Read Acts 2:42-47.

And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.

I don’t know about you, but this is what I wish we were known for today—for this kind of reckless and radical generosity—as the early Christians were. Can you imagine the ripple effects this kind of generosity would have in this world?

I want to be a reckless and radical giver. (click to tweet)

Are you in? God loves a cheerful giver (but will take a grumpy one too). (click to tweet).

Next steps:

  • Spread the word! Get your friends, family, churches, and coworkers involved in #GivingTuesday.
  • Pray, asking God to show you who is in need of your radical generosity (a person, a people group, a non-profit organization, etc.).
  • Make a list of different ways you could be generous (with your money, time, meal plans, living space, car, etc.).
  • Share about #GivingTuesday at your large group, church, or small group and invite people to rally around a particular cause by committing to save $X per day from now till December 3. 

How else will you participate in #GivingTuesday? Leave us a comment!

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Amy Hauptman worked for InterVarsity for a number of years, first as a campus staff member at the University of California–Davis, the University of Nevada–Reno, and Truckee Me

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