How to freely give as you have freely received

When I read articles and hear talks about being more generous, so much of those tends to be about giving away more money. And there’s a pressing need for that so that donations can fund and sustain the myriads of charitable and non-profit organizations.

Sometimes these talks are specifically targeted to the wealthy, those who are upper middle-class or those who are independently wealthy or financially independent. The Internet has enabled more opportunity for entrepreneurs to become rich and work towards financial independence. And there are sure lots of books and online courses about how to get rich, become wealthy, make more money, and those books sell a lot more than books on being generous or charitable, because life in this world does require most people to work to make money to pay the bills. Well, unless you’re reached financial independence status (which means work is optional, because you’ve accumulated more than enough finances to cover your living expenses for the rest of your life).

Making Money Doesn’t Motivate Me

Well, I am not like many people who seem to be motivated by making more money. I supposed I could try to be one of those online entrepreneurs, aka solopreneurs, and that’s my choice and prerogative. So when someone enthusiastically talks with me about making more money, I shrug my shoulders, and we both walk away confounded.

There’s so much more to life than making money. To be clear, for the record, I am not financially independent and don’t foresee that happening in my lifetime, so I will need to be working for many years to come. (Granted, that’s easier to say when I’ve got enough to live on and have a good job; there are many in the world that live below the American poverty level and would need more money to have their basic needs met.)

seeds

Sharing Freely with No Expectations

The thing that’s influenced my thinking about money are these two quotes in the Bible, “Freely you have received, freely give.” and “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”  

And here is what that looks like for me to freely give away what I find great joy to give away: time and connections and knowledge.

To give away time when I am available, I have an open calendar accessible by anyone to schedule a phone call or a meeting with me, and I’m happy to share freely what I have learned in my life. I don’t want to be someone that judges whether someone is worth my time to meet or not. Yes, we all have the same amount of time, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. I don’t have any more extra than anyone else. As long as my primary responsibilities with work and family and other commitments are covered, the rest are an overflow I can freely give away.

I love to connect people with people and resources, having no agenda in mind. I love to share what I find with the world through the freely available instant publishing platforms that the Internet provides for us. In a world of social networking and search engines, we ought to have more than Wikipedia being a repository of valuable free resources that people collaborate using their collective wisdom of the crowd to contribute and build something better.

Sharing Online Costs Nothing

I love to share what I know, thus this blog and several other forms of digital publishing, like podcasting (cf. SocialMedia.Church). I love to share breakthrough ideas that can help others. 

In an information age where knowledge is power, and knowledge is part of a monetizable economy, the notion of intellectual property and copyrights have fueled the American wealthy for generations. But with the sharing economy being enabled by democratic technology, perhaps more strategic use of open source and creative commons can do more good in society at large and in the church too.

I share this inside look at my giving motivations to find someone who can show me another way for how to freely share my knowledge, not to brag, but to explore how we can more freely share helpful knowledge that would benefit humanity without so much friction caused by financial hurdles for the have-nots. What do you think?

Aside: freely give for me also means no metrics and no strings attached, immeasurably scattering seeds of goodness, wherever the wind blows, inspired by the parable of the seeds & soils, where the gardener cast seeds everywhere with no regard for results.

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2 Responses

  1. Barn says:

    Appreciate your thoughtfulness on the topic, DJ.

    I happen to do work in support of the monetary side of giving to aid the work of the Church, but there is so much more to being a generous and giving follower of Christ. Many would argue that out time is more valuable than our money. I like to remind myself of the scripture about reaping what we sow … it applies to so much … including giving – time, money, and resources.

    Thanks, DJ! And thanks for being a teaching / connector!

    Barn – http://www.tithe.ly

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