Two in one day? Yes.
The second rant today centers on the topic of giving in America (And should be shorter than the first rant).
That's right, philanthropy. Yay! Actually, I am just going to point the finger at myself:
Here is a conversation between me, and...me:
"Whatsup, me? Dawg, you handsome."
"So, you sure like giving gifts, huh?"
"Yeah, it makes me feel all fuzzy inside."
"But, admit it...sometimes you get pissed when you don't get anything in return."
"And admit it. When you put money in the offering box, or if you think about giving money to a charity...sometimes you wonder what everyone else is giving, don't you?"
"And if people with equal means to you don't give as much, you judge them, don't you?"
"I really hate talking to myself."
"But it gets better: even people of lesser and greater means than you...you judge them in their giving, too, huh?"
"Yeah, sometimes. You suck."
"Yes, you do."
Anyway, I seem to not be alone in this problem. I have to admit, though, it is quite difficult to keep one hand from knowing what the other is doing (that is either a reference to an Archie Bunker comic, or a Bible verse). It seems the culture here has us more worried about what others are giving (or the good others are doing) than what we ourselves are doing. Also, sometimes humans worry that others will see how much they have given, and will think they have not given enough.
It is in all these categories that I encourage you to follow my own mantra, one that has served me well, that is, when I remember it:
That's right, everybody.
No, not literally! What I mean is: Who cares what everyone else is doing? Do you think God cares in relation to you? Of course not. God wants you to do your best. He does not care about your best in relation to everyone else. Everyone else does not matter, in this regard. It seems some of us would rather point the finger at other people for not giving enough as a substitute for giving any of ourselves. This don't cut it.
To relate this to my previous post, you have to do what God wants you to do. At the moment, he might want you to give $50 to little children in Africa with no water. He may want you to give it to a family you know, so they can pay a bill. He may want you to buy a video game, because he wants you to relax, and learn and understand the spiritual advantages of being knowledgable in the realm of zombie-eradification. Sometimes, you just need to rest.
The point is, you have to do what God says is best for you. If your friend gave all his spending cash to the poor this week, and you used your money to buy Sideways on DVD, you don't have to feel guilty, plus, your friend should be keeping his mouth shut, anyway, because he is not supposed to be talking about it. This last phrase is about as Biblical as you can get.
Matthew 6:3-4 "But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly." (New King James Version) Gee, I think those letters might be red.
On the other hand, if all you do is spend your money on you, I would find it hard to believe you are operating in God's will, though, as the whole purpose of this post points out, it is none of my, or anyone else's business what you give. You have to do what God wants you to do.