OK, I did it. I’m not sure what prompted me, but I challenged a group to make a gift every day for the next 30 days. I realized, however, that while I’d made the challenge, I didn’t have a plan for 30 days of giving.
Sure, I had some ideas but 30 days’ worth? So, I began my own research and came up with a list. You’ll find it below.
But before the list, why 30 days of giving? Why 30 days of living generously? There’s just something about the idea of not living only for myself but living for others first.
Generosity frees me from the want of things. It cuts through the incessant desire for more things and the lie that fulfilling my wants are the way to joy. Indeed, the greatest joy is in living freely, and freedom comes when we loosen our vice grip on the things of this earth.
So, what about you? Would you like to take the 30-day giving challenge?
30 Days of Giving
- Think about someone from your past that you’re grateful for. A teacher. A pastor. A youth leader. Write them a note and tell them why you are thankful for them.
- Pay it forward. At the coffee shop? Going through the drive-through? Pay for the next group of people in line. Note the reaction of the person at the register.
- Give away some clothes that you actually wear. Give to a local thrift store, or it could be the homeless person you regularly pass on the way to work.
- Call an old friend from college or even high school and relive the memories of those days. Tell them why you are grateful for their friendship.
- Give an extra big tip to your waiter and waitress. Tell them why they are good at their job.
- Stop and talk to that person you regularly see but perhaps have never really engaged with (e.g., the dry cleaner person, the barista, the repair person), and ask them about their lives, how they got to be doing what they are doing.
- Do a chore that a co-worker or spouse normally does.
- Send a letter to a friend or relative in another city and tell them something going on in your world and why you are thinking of them.
- Put cash in an envelope and put it in the offering plate designated for your pastor to take his spouse on a date.
- Slow down and pay a sincere compliment to someone today.
- Give $10, $20, $50 or $100 to some random person you sense has a need today.
- Send a text message to someone today with an inspiring Bible verse.
- Make cookies for your neighbor.
- Give someone a hug. Squeeze tight for 10 seconds.
- Draw a picture for your friend, co-worker or spouse of one of your favorite memories.
- Give a hug to a widow.
- Send a care package to a college student with an encouraging note.
- Go on a long walk, and notice—really notice—all the little things that God has done in creation for you. Write God a thank-you letter.
- Clean out your closet or clean out a desk drawer and give away those things you’ve been thinking you’d use someday but never have.
- Say thank you to someone and look into their eyes when you do it.
- Commit to walking around with a smile on your face all day. Smile at people. When people ask how you are doing, say, in the words of an old friend, “Awesome and getting better!”
- Tape change to a vending machine.
- Buy a bird feeder and feed the birds.
- Give treats to your mail carrier.
- Write a positive Facebook post about all the good in the world because of the things God has done.
- Donate a favorite book to your library or homeless shelter.
- Go buy some canned goods and donate them to your local food pantry.
- You know how public restrooms often get water splashed on the counter? Take the time to wipe up the mess and pick up the paper towels on the floor.
- Have coffee or a meal with a co-worker or an acquaintance and ask them to tell you their story.
- Pray for a daily inspiration on how you might give today.
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Published November 22, 2019