Together we give

November 25th, 2020

For the past eight years, the Tuesday after Thanksgiving has been known as Giving Tuesday. This movement was started by the United Nations Foundation in response to the prevalence of consumerism during the holiday season. On this day, people are encouraged to make donations to nonprofit organizations to support both their local communities and worldwide causes. Last year an estimated $1.97 billion was donated through both online and offline contributions on this one day.

Materialistic mayhem

There are significant challenges in encouraging adolescents today to give rather than consume. Advertisers use digital platforms to intentionally target teenagers, a population with money to spend but minimal responsibilities for which they must save. As young people begin to explore their individual decision-making, they are less likely to value others’ input, especially from their parents who try to steer them away from spending their money frivolously.

Peer acceptance is extremely important to adolescents, so if everyone else seems to have a particular brand of shoes, video-game system or cell phone, young people will do whatever they can to acquire the trending products. With materialism always knocking at their door, many teenagers are more inclined to receive instead of give.  

A generous heart 

When we think about Giving Tuesday, we mostly think about financial gifts. However, monetary donations are only one of many ways we as Christians are called to give. Giving is an act of sacrifice — giving away something God has given you in an effort to bless someone else who is in need. God has given us many gifts we can share with others. 

In addition to our money, God has given us talents we can use to bless others and to serve our community. Another precious commodity is the gift of time. We can shop for a sick relative or cook a meal for a family who is grieving. Regardless of what we give, our giving is an act of worship as we give back to the One who gave up everything for us.

Question of the day: If you had 500 dollars to donate, which organization would you choose and why?
Focal scriptures: 1 John 3:11-24; 1 Chronicles 29:1-9; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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