A week or two ago, a British woman began to publically bemoan the fact that she had given her ex-husband a kidney transplant. It seems that a few years after the operation, she suspicioned that he was unfaithful to her and they ended up divorced.
She said, “I can’t believe he now has a second chance to live and see his grandchildren grow up. I would definitely go through the operation again, but I wouldn’t give the kidney to him… I would take it back and give it to someone else.”
When I saw that report, it made me start to think about our motives for doing good things. Too often, we evaluate the worthiness of the potential recipient and on the basis of that evaluation, choose to bless or not.
If it is a request that comes from the media (TV, radio, on line) we immediately evaluate that organization based on their reputation or an experience we have had with them or someone in their group. The criteria for the “thumbs up or thumbs down” can be pretty subjective. (Admittedly, discretion is required, but too often the information is jaded.)
If a request comes from a guy standing on the side of the road, we too often begin to evaluate his “worthiness” to receive our gift based on what he is wearing or how sincere he looks.
I was in the car once with some friends when a gentleman held up a sign that said, “Family hungry, anything will help.” I am sad to say that rather than the group pooling its resources and giving generously, the discussion focused on how “worn” the cardboard sign was. And the group decided that it was a “scam” based on the lack of smudges on the cardboard. The logic being that it was too fresh and the guy’s needs couldn’t be ongoing.
The bottom line is, I am thinking that too often we all evaluate the worthiness of a potential recipient of our giving and miss the boat. We are enjoined to be generous Christians. The generosity is based on our heart, our character, and our responsiveness to the spirit of God. Not on the worthiness of the needy.
So this week let’s all go out and “do good”…regardless of the nature of the recipient. It is not about THEM. It is about US!
“But since you excel in everything…see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” (II. Cor. 8:7)
By His Grace and for His Glory,
Sherry L. Worel