Generosity Puts Good News on Display Above the Bad News

U.S. Navy Culinary Specialist Seaman Gabriel Common places a piece of chocolate cake on the mess deck serving line before evening meal onboard USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72) March 20, 2008. Lincoln and embarked Carrier Air Wing 2 are under way in the Pacific Ocean on a planned seven month deployment to the 5th Fleet Area of Operations. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Geoffrey Lewis) (Released)

My son and I stopped in a great BBQ place the other day that’s not too close to the house so we don’t get to go all that often. Their brisket is the best I’ve had, ribs were great and side dishes are all excellent in their own right. Then, the grand finale. Dessert.

For dessert, there was peach cobbler with vanilla ice cream on top. Now, to be truthful, the main course was better than the dessert but the dessert was free. They have a dessert area where you help yourself at no additional cost. Can you hear the angels singing?

It’s genius. People love free. People love the special feeling that comes with getting something you don’t have to pay for. I have no idea if I like the owner’s personalities or not (since I don’t know them personally) or agree with their beliefs or voted like they did. I do know, however, that I like free dessert.

As Jesus followers walk into this new normal where, like it or not, we have been aligned with possibly the most controversial president-elect in the history of the United States. After all, the statistics say that something like 82% of evangelicals who voted supported this president-elect. At best, this nation is split right down the middle. At worst, Clinton won the popular vote.

The net result of 82% alignment and a split if not a minority, is that culture is against evangelicals. That is, they don’t want to hear any “good news” from the group that they blame for what they believe is bad news.

In the coming days, if you are a Jesus follower, what are you going to do to close the gap? After all, you are the evangelist if you are an evangelical, as I wrote here last week. How are you going to evangelize a culture that associates you with racism, hate, divisiveness, and other descriptors that attempt to tag the current environment?

There are many ways to start to bridge the gap and build relationship and I’ll suggest a first. Give everything away. Be generous. People love free dessert.

I’m not suggesting any form of manipulation; I am suggesting extreme generosity. When you see a need, meet it. When you see an opportunity, take it. Resist any bias that supports any form of “us” vs. “them” and look for ways to be a blessing. Give away compliments, tip wait staff extravagantly, find needs in the community and meet them and rally other believers to corporately meet needs that exceed your individual capacity.

Our friend, Amy Ford, calls this kind of extravagant giving “love bombs.” Kill them with extravagant kindness, love and generosity. Let the Good News declare itself beyond the distractions of the evening news.

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