Thursday, September 28, 2006

Generous to a Fault

Well, no one took on the question of do we say anything to a friend/sister in Christ struggling with shopping/accumulating stuff. I guess I'll just have to keep praying on that one.

Today, I want to briefly mention something else that has come to mind as I've prayed over this topic this week. Can we be materialistically motivated in our generosity? Stay with me for a minute, because I don't know the answer. But I've been thinking how I have been guilty of saying to friends who have less monetary flexibility than me to just come and do (whatever) and I would pay for it. I am happy to share my monetary blessings. Often this is said when I am really wanting to do something and someone else is really trying to live within their budget. So I get company and they get to go do whatever. It should be a win-win. But is it? I wonder if my willingness to share comes across as flaunting. I wonder if I should instead choose activities that just don't cost money--still get to be with a friend but they are not put in a place of accepting a gift or refusing to go.

The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines materialism as
"Main Entry: ma·te·ri·al·ism Pronunciation: m&-'tir-E-&-"li-z&m Function: noun

2 : a preoccupation with or stress upon material rather than intellectual or spiritual things

Even in sharing what I have, maybe I am putting stress on the fact that I have it and not looking at what that may or may not do to the spirit of my friend. Something to ponder as I strive to seek God first, keep the attitude about stuff and money right, and watch Him align the rest of my life.

Blessings my friends. I'll post tomorrow after our Bible Study discussion.


Emma said...

I don't know why it took me so long to find your blog. I am sorry! I should have come here a long, long time ago.

Regarding your question, I admit I am usually the broke one when it comes to me and my best friend. She's got a great job and I am a SAHM. I am not comfortable with her paying for our outings, and generally find a way to afford it myself, though I let her buy me chocolate when we went to the movies together for my birthday. I am up front if I can't afford it, and try to suggest no cost outings instead.

It is sweet that you want to be generous, I just would not want to accept, it's just the way I am. I have never taken money offered by our family either.


Margaret said...

It takes a certain gift to be able to accept graciously. I've not often been on the side of being offered a gift by a friend so haven't had to face this. Have been with family, and I'm not too gracious about it.