Any deal you come across today – go ahead and hand it to someone else. We’re not just talking old BOGOF-type deals: even if it’s just a bottled drink with 25% extra, go and give the whole bottle away. Whatever’s freely given to you, share it with someone else. It’s just a picture showing that everything God’s given you is yours to give on.

Choose how you’ll complete today’s act:
If money’s tight, check around the house. Got two copies of the same book? Chairs you don’t need? Some extra biscuits? Upload a pic to your social networks and offer to give it away (and throw in the hashtag #40acts).

Got a loyalty card? Give your carefully collected points away to someone else. Or use them to buy someone something nice to give away.

Boost a local business. Put some cash behind the till at your local coffee shop or café.

“…Freely you have received; freely give.”
(Matthew 10:8 NIV)

Your thought for today:

Forget socks and ties, this was the best Christmas present ever!

My friend was chuffed to bits with the small Bluetooth speaker which meant his in-car entertainment moved up a gear. But, as he later admitted to me, the best was yet to come: a little box with a ribbon, and inside six, yes six, completed sticker cards entitling him to a free coffee at any McDonalds! Over twelve months his daughter had foregone her own freebies and had patiently saved them up to give them to him. Not a bad deal; the pay-off for thirty years of cost and care, he joked.

It was, of course, a bit of fun and, yes, maybe it sidesteps some moral issues. But it made him think as well as smile. His daughter gave what she could have kept, shared what she could have saved for herself. The laughter it gave him and her thoughtfulness were worth far more than six free coffees.

We mused on the gift over a mug of instant.

Something special happens when we are generous with what we’re given. Being irredeemably Anglican, my friend calls generous gifts, large or small, “sacraments of the heart”.

We both agreed that there is something compelling and transformative about such generosity. Like the young boy who entrusted his bread and fish to Jesus: what else was shared, what else happened in heart and hand that day? In that wonderful story we are told that Jesus took, blessed, broke and gave bread to his disciples – and they in turn gave to a hungry people what they had received. What was given to them.

Good giving begins with good receiving. Everything we have comes into our hands as blessed

and broken for good giving, generous living. What is received from Jesus is shared with others.

That’s the generosity deal: freely you have received, freely give.

Written by Fiona Mearns
Fiona Mearns is the Training and Events Coordinator at Stewardship and part of the 40acts Team. She loves listening to other people’s stories which are always inspirational.

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