Sometimes giving becomes a fad in our culture. The phrases “pay it forward” and “random acts of kindness” are jazzy and capture the public’s imagination to do something nice for people they do not know. Because these forms of giving are considered random they appear to be easy to tack onto your already busy life. Excitement is created as we celebrate Pay it Forward Day on April 25 and Random Act of Kindness Day on February 17 or November 9th (depending where you live). The irony, of course, is that what had been called random is now planned or expected.
Counter-cultural giving is more than a fad like this. It is present every day of the year and is motivated not by a cool concept but by a loving heart. To be consistent and sustainable, our giving needs to be rooted in God, whose generosity to us is beyond measure.One of my nieces in Alberta recently felt led to organize a Random Acts of Kindness Party with and for her friends. They gave out oranges, chocolates, gift cards and cash to community workers as well as unsuspecting strangers. This outpouring of giving did not come about because it was trendy but because God had first given love and the capacity for caring to my niece and her friends. When her party ended, it was neither the beginning nor the end of her lifestyle of giving.