#GivingTuesday falls right after Black Friday Weekend. It’s a new movement to integrate the celebration of generosity into what is already the largest gift-giving season of the year. What makes a donation so attractive to a culture whose spending in one weekend exceeds the combined gross national incomes of Rwanda, DR Congo, Malawi, Mozambique and Burundi? Americans already practice generosity during the winter holidays. They go beyond even their own financial limitations to bring joy to their loved ones. Adults will each spend about $740 on gifts this year and nearly 60 percent of parents expect to go into debt buying gifts for their children.
But there is something vastly unique about giving a gift that fulfills a need rather than a wish list – a gift that profoundly impacts a life rather than make life easier – a gift that addresses a complex problem rather than a fleeting desire.
On Christmas day, we celebrate the greatest gift – the birth of Jesus Christ, whose life, death and resurrection provide us a restored relationship with God. He came to restore our world’s brokenness – brokenness that is physical, spiritual, emotional, economic and even political. Not only did he give his resources, but also his time, his energy and his entire life.
Romans 6:23 speaks of the magnitude of such a gift when it says, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” The greatest gift is one that is life-giving, that brings restoration, that heals, that is undeserved, because that is the nature of God’s gift to us in Jesus.
On #GivingTuesday (Dec. 2, 2014), we challenge you to give as Jesus did. Here's what it can look like:
- Meeting real needs: Jesus assessed and met the real needs of the people around him. One way you can do this is by purchasing a gift in World Relief’s Catalog of Hope. These gifts are intended to meet the physical, spiritual, social and economic needs of the world’s most vulnerable.
- Serving: Matthew 20:28 says, “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Between now and Dec. 2, serve your community in some capacity. Share your story with @WorldRelief using the hashtag #GivingTuesday
- Speaking: Invite your friends to also give of themselves this holiday season by sharing our social media toolkit between now and Dec. 2.
So how will you give on #GivingTuesday?
Let’s make true generosity a hallmark of our culture during the holidays!