Our world is starved and ready for real love, real kindness and real compassion. Like a weary desert traveler, sun-scorched and dying for a drop of water, unexpected care cools the parched tongue and kindness refreshes the dry soul.
I believe this is why you see the desire for doing good incorporated into many business plans today – millennial entrepreneurs on “Shark Tank” pitch not only their business, but also their cause, their way to give back. Seems like ever since Toms shoes blew up on the platform of “get one give one,” many others have been intrigued about doing good, or at least hoping altruism pays off as a business strategy.
Pay-it-forward campaigns are also endearing and popular. Just this past season Starbucks was preaching “give good” and the contagious nature of kindness. This is what the banner at the front door said, for those who took time to read it: “The holidays are here, and good is in the air. Hold the door for someone, connect over coffee, say hi to a stranger, give perfect gifts to the ones you love. And once good starts, it keeps growing from one person to the next—simple acts of kindness that touch the lives of many. Because good is contagious and giving is too. GIVE GOOD.”
You see and hear these rumblings of kindness, love and grace flame up in culture, because that is what so many are missing – the unconditional love of God and His grace, and they are drawn to any semblance of it, even if it gets you to buy more coffee.
Giving good should be the Church’s wheelhouse, but instead we have a reputation of an outhouse: an old, judgmental system that has been relegated to a position outside the social conversation, especially when it comes to who is doing the most good in loving, building up and encouraging people. This is not Starbucks’ calling, it is ours. God could use Starbucks to help accomplish His purposes, but how much more does He desire His church to accomplish them by simple, everyday obedience to His expressed will.
Jesus makes it clear that His followers should stand out in our ability to bless our communities. After a lengthy discourse of the character of disciples, He says:
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:14-16)
While there is a biblical notion of giving in secret, there is also this plain teaching to do good in this world while representing the name of Jesus. People will see these acts of love, inspired by Jesus, and ultimately give glory to God. The Church, the conglomerate of those faithful believers in Jesus, who together form the “bride of Christ” should be so good at giving good that we should be shaping the landscape of love in our world. But today, we are not the leading the charge. And I believe this can change, that we can step out of the perceived outhouse, to walk in those good works God has prepared in advance for us to do, thus claiming our divine birthright of displaying the grace we have received in Jesus.
Getting out of the outhouse requires a strategy to embolden everyday neighbor awareness, a tool to get in the game of love – a ticket to exit the outhouse. Ours is Grace Bombing. For a refresher look back at gracebomb.org, arm yourself with a stack of Grace Bomb cards, and obey that prompting when you feel led to drop one on your unsuspecting neighbor. It may be the very drop that scorched tongue and thirsty soul is dying for.