Generosity: The Speeding Ticket You Want
By Doug Bing, Washington Conference president
There they were in my rear-view mirror. Flashing lights and the image of the local city police car. I was 16 years old and driving around in my pick-up truck feeling on top of the world.
That is until I saw those lights. My truck had loud mufflers on it and it was fun to roar around town in that truck. The policeman, however, didn’t think that I should be roaring quite so fast. I was going 30 miles an hour in a 20 mile per hour zone. It was my first time being stopped by the police.
I was worried. My father had always told me that if I got a ticket that not only would I have to pay the ticket, but that I would then have to pay the insurance on the truck in order to keep driving. I didn’t want to part with any hard-earned money. I was perfectly happy with my parents paying that expense.
Well the policeman in our small town went through the routine and asked for driver’s license and registration. I handed them over and then for some reason started talking my head off to the policeman. I asked him all about his radar equipment and all about the inside of his car. My mouth just kept talking.
After a bit the officer just looked at my name and asked about my father and then simply said, “Slow down, son, and try to be a bit quieter running around town.”
I don’t know why he let me off with a warning, but I was extremely happy for his generosity. Of course, I was also happy that I didn’t have to pay for a ticket and insurance either.
Isaiah 32:8 says, “But a generous man devises generous things, and by generosity he shall stand.”
That police officer was always someone I looked up to after that. He had been generous to me and I viewed him as a totally different person.
I love the thought that is given in the text in Isaiah: To devise generous things. It is the image of people dreaming up ways to be generous and then going out and executing that generous thinking. It’s the type of “speeding ticket” you actually want!
Think about how we can impact our world in the same way. Generosity is a state of mind. It is devising ways to impact people by giving of yourself, giving positive words, giving happy smiles, mentoring someone along the path of life. It is about giving of material things to both God and people. It is about giving non material things and time to both God and people.
This week in a world that is being rocked by political strife, out of control diseases what are circling the globe, panic in stores as people line up to purchase items they think they need, and uncertainty all around, let us as Christians devise ways that we can be generous in the face of an onslaught of bad things. We can make a difference in this world by devising generosity in all things, including checking in on our neighbors who may live alone or have other underlying medical conditions.