At Patriot Gaines, we speak in many ways about loving your neighbor and how that is demonstrated through our lives. But as we entered 2018, I made a challenge (not a resolution) to all of our team and our followers. And that challenge was “this is the year of giving back of ourselves”. And we believe giving money is fine and necessary. But so many need active participants, volunteers, and people from the community that have a myriad of talents to offer whatever gifts God gave them to an organization, group, or individual that can benefit from it.
Why is this type of giving important, especially right now in America? Must we pay back some debt? Must we, as some have suggested, ‘pay it forward’? Are we going to earn favor from God by doing these things? Are we storing up riches in heaven, as is discussed in many churches? Or is this just an experiment to get some attention to a little blog site? Let me address these one by one…
Why is this type of giving important, especially right now in America?
There are several reasons why this is important to our country. Our National Debt has spiraled out of control for most of this century. Our debt to GDP ratio has been upside down since at least 2013. The money dedicated to social programs in America is more than we can handle as a Nation. But on top of this, many of these programs are either not necessary, or they are wasting billions of dollars more than they should be for programs that we may need.
Benevolence in America, once upon a time, started with the individuals, the churches, charities, and other community organizations that provided many of the resources that our federal government spends billions on that we no longer have available to give. the federal government must do their part in easing the burden of charitable giving. They must reduce the spending if we are still going to have a dollar that is worth anything. And if we are demanding that our leaders do their part to fix this mess, then we must return to a community of benevolence. This does not mean throwing money at everything. But if we give of our own talents to an organization, group, or individual, then we reduce the costs of operating that charity, while inspiring others. And the inspiration is not just through perspiration. But, inspiration does immeasurable good for the spirit of people and community building. When people see their neighbors pitching in, it can change their hearts & minds in such a way that it becomes contagious. In short, it brings immeasurable hope to the human spirit, as well as the community at large.
Must we pay back some debt?
Jesus gave us everything we needed that we could never provide on our own. It is such an enormous debt that we could never pay it back, even if we try! So this is NOT about paying back a debt. No one can do for others by force. It is a matter of the heart.
Must we, as some have suggested, ‘pay it forward’?
To “pay it forward” is to respond to someone else’s kindness by being kind to someone else. There is certainly nothing wrong with doing that, in essence. But that is not the purpose. Paying it Forward in some ways is tied to the indebtedness a person has for something that was done for them. It is often used in a contractual way. But the virtues of humanism are NOT meant to last because they are NOT rooted in the love of God. This idea is rooted in the carnal, not the heavenly realm.
Are we going to earn favor from God by doing these things?
There are many Scriptures that tell us you cannot earn favor with God by works. Any works that are done must be from the heart because of the love you have for what you are doing, which must come through the Holy Spirit. In this way, God receives the glory for every good work.
Are we storing up riches in heaven, as is sometimes discussed in churches?
That is something that only an individual can answer based on the their personal faith. But that is not the reason for this focus.
Is this just an experiment to get some attention to a little blog site?
As a child, I grew up very poor. I learned to do without. And in doing so it made me a very resourceful person. When I would receive from an individual something that I did not have, as a little child, I knew simply by the way they looked me in the eyes, or by the way they embraced me in my situation, and by the way they demonstrated God’s love bringing hope to a young child. I saw my Lord through these people. It changed my life. I believe that God has put us here to be vessels for Him in this way. See, God has chosen to give his message and spread His love through His people. So we are not doing anything expecting anything in return. We are becoming the vessel in which God has designed us to become. I don’t know why He chose to use us this way. But there is no question that He has! So it is my privilege, therefore, to serve His purpose in this way.
The Patriot in me sees the government wasting money right and left; and sees us giving power to them by not embracing our role and simply saying “let them fix it because that is their job”. But it is NOT THEIR JOB! And the federal government was not designed to spend all of the money that they do on such things! FDR gave us THE NEW DEAL during a time that the country needed that sort of inspiration, and needed to put us back to work. But once Pandora’s Box was opened, we could not close it again. So politicians started using this NEW DEAL as a means to empower them by telling the people, “Hey, I can give you this if you just put your trust in me”. But that was not what are country was built on. Did we do this after The American Revolution? And how much more did our poor ancestors need what they did not get from government? Yet, no one complained. They simply wanted the freedom to earn and forge their way in life protected by our Constitution.
Well those days are gone and times have changed. But the Patriot in me says that we cannot spend more than we are making. And, it is not the duty of the federal government to provide all of the things we are giving. But, if people have lost their way, as we all have in some fashion, we need to give to those that need what can give them (hope), and get them back on their feet.
I hope you were inspired to join Patriot Gaines in Giving Back in any way that you can. And as you do, please participate in giving to the organizations, groups, and individuals as we share their stories. But only give as your heart leads you. Thank you, in advance from me! It provides hope all over again to that little child in need.
Chris Gaines, Editor-In-Chief, Patriot Gaines