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Do not do tomorrow what you know is good to do today.

And by ‘good’ I mean in the theological, moral sense.

Over the last five years or so, the sntjohnny household has endured various sorts of troubles that were truly unpleasant.  To keep it in context, I should add that at least very little was ‘tragic.’  That has not been lost on me.  One of the things that has come out of the experience that I am glad to have is a better appreciation of the nature of generosity.  I have always seen generosity as a logical fruit of faith in Christ but I never understood or appreciated the fact that it is a legitimate spiritual gift (see, for example, Romans 8 and 2 Cor 8 ) .

I now understand that the gift of generosity is not mainly about being willing to offer support, but actually getting around to doing it.   In this regards, I certainly know that I lack.  I once had a thank you note ready to send out but by the time I sent it, the person had moved.  The letter was bounced back to me, and even google has prevented me from being able to track the man down.  (Mr. J. Paul, I have a letter for you.  Contact me, please).   In the course of time, I have seen how often people have expressed concern for me and my family and then simply never got around to doing anything.  On the other hand, even people of limited means who had the generosity ‘knack’ acted immediately, with whatever they could at the time.

I find it interesting, in fact, that I have seen more action out of people who are relative strangers than people right around me, sometimes people who saw me every day and counted themselves my friends.  I once received a very sizable check from a man who was not a Christian, who had never met me, who was opposite me on the political spectrum.  In other words, the last person I would have expected to do such a thing.  It was eye-opening.   It is not that people don’t care.  I think, actually, what happens is that everyone thinks that everyone else is doing something:  in fact, when everyone thinks this, it is nobody that actually does it.

It has been eye-opening for me, and it has had this effect on me:  even though I know I lack in this particular gift, I strive to do what I can the moment I think of it the moment I have identified a need.  I just don’t have the ability to sustain my sense of compassion.  It crumbles half the time just because of my lack of organizational abilities.  I bet people will relate to this.  However, there are more of us than there are ‘generous’ people, and so much good is not being done that only we can do.  We’ve got to step it up- especially those of us who are Christians.

This speaks to resource usage, of course, but it also speaks to giving someone a good word, or a needed word.  It can be anything, really.  Doing the right thing, no matter how small, at the right moment, is the best way to fill the world up with right things.  Doing the right thing tomorrow may be beyond the moment.  Maybe not- but if not, then do it if it still remains.

There is so much need in the world.  We can do much good if only we had the energy and alertness to pull it off.  The ‘generous’ among us have it in spades.  The rest of us may not have it, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have an obligation then to work on it.


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