Last week I had the opportunity to speak to a group of professional men at The Gathering lunch series. The topic was Pursuing Real Treasure. One of the things I shared was lessons learned from the Birthday Giving Challenge. I would like to share those with you as well.
If you would like to view the Prezi I used for my talk, you can view it here. A Prezi is like powerpoint, only cooler. If your church, small group, or cats would be interested in having me speak about this topic, feel free to contact me.
Lessons Learned from the Birthday Giving Challenge
1. Giving Is Hard
This challenge revealed my sinful nature. Most days I didn’t feel like I had either the time, energy, or desire to give. The most difficult part of the challenge was being out of my comfort zone. I changed my first diaper (and had to ask the 2-year old if I put the diaper on correctly). I picked up trash in my neighborhood, feeling very conscientious the whole time. I wrote emails, notes, and made phone calls and told people how much I appreciated and loved them. If you know me, you know sharing feelings is not my forte.
We are by nature selfish. Giving takes work and lots of grace.
2. Giving Is Fun
Once I got over my initial hesitations, I really enjoyed the giving activities. Running around in the rain pushing in shopping carts was fun. Having people truly appreciate a kind word or deed was fun. The final challenge of giving my parents gifts to represent my appreciation for them was the most fun challenge. They were touched, made obvious by my mom’s tears. I think I even heard dad sniffle once.
3. We Have More to Give Than We Think
While giving money is important, it is just ONE way to give. Most of the challenges did not involve money. Serving others with our time is a way to give. Encouraging words and notes are ways to give. We also have so much STUFF we can give: coupons for diapers to new moms, gift cards we don’t really need, clothes we can no longer wear, etc. Look around and find something you already have that you could give. Even if the other person doesn’t really want it, they will appreciate that you thought of them.
I ended my talk with this challenge and challenge you to do the same:
What is the one thing you could do TODAY for someone else? Share it and go do it.
Seriously. Write in the comments below the one thing you could do for someone else TODAY. Then report back on how it goes.