Real generosity leaps into action to bless others, even when it comes at a cost to us. Give away something that you could charge real money for. You may not think you’re particularly great with technology, but if your granny really needs to know how to use a computer, then you can do as good a job as any at showing her. Teach a beginner some guitar chords. Do bike maintenance for kids on your street. Share your skills, at a cost to yourself.
Green: Look over your teachable skills. If you can, schedule a lesson with a newbie today.
Amber: If you usually charge for teaching a skill, today do it for free.
Red: Take on a new client or student, long-term, for free.
“Wealth and honour come from you… In your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all… [W]ho am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given only what comes from your hand.”
(1 Chronicles 29:12–14)
When I became known as the kid that was good with computers, it took about five minutes for the news to spread. As a teenager, my parents’ friends and our neighbours would always be in touch – ‘James, I’ve got this problem with my email…’ Fifteen years on, I’m still being that person.
I know that my skillset comes from God. In the same way, David learnt from a young age that all his gifts came from the Lord. So when the time came to build the temple, he gave abundantly. In 1 Chronicles 29:12–14 he prays: ‘Wealth and honour come from you… [W]ho am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this?’
David is clear in his mind – everything that he has comes from God. It’s not limited to money. Read it again: wealth and honour, status and strength come from God – that’s what David prays. The stuff that you’re good at has been given to you from God. It’s his gift to you.
I co-lead Kingdom Code, a group of technologists exploring the intersection of Christianity and tech. This is one of the challenges we consider: how can we take this God-given skillset of coding and design and use it to serve our churches and local communities?
A group who have taken this on board give up a couple of evenings each month, working to build a mobile app which helps their church to know the local community better. This isn’t something only for the tech world. At my church, there is someone who shares his love of vinyl at a local meetup for people in his neighbourhood. There are people who cook a meal and meet with men in a local homeless shelter. With both, they are starting to build relationships. What could it be for you?