Confession time: I love shopping on-line. It’s amazing to me how I can find most anything and it be to me in a couple of days. I love the simplicity of it and the ability to get things done quickly even while I’m doing other things. I love that I don't have to drive to multiple places and wander around a store hoping someone asks if they can help me find something and then after showing it to me stalking me :).
So when I got a message a year or so ago asking if I wanted to help support an organization through my purchases I was really excited. You just simply tell them which you want to support and they will send a portion of each purchase to the one you select. And in the last year they have given $37,903,623.82 to these organizations! WOW! That is crazy good. Who wouldn’t want to be a part if it?
Well as your friend Lee Corso says; “No so fast my friend!” There is a dropdown menu where you can see how much of that nearly 38 million dollars you have helped generate to your designated charity, and mine reveals (drumroll, please) $1.21. Really? Wow.
I shared this information with the big boss of “my charity” and he said “I really don’t want people using that because they may think they are doing something to help and NOT GIVE otherwise.” Good point. See, if I give even $100 a year to a work I believe in and then determine I want to give this way I may be tempted to think that will cover my giving - when in reality it makes it MUCH less. It’s actually an illusion of doing something good that keeps you from doing real good.
I think I first heard of this years and years ago. There was a member at Woodlawn when I was growing up who once a year give dad a check for the church for $1000 - yes, that is a lot of money but in the 70’s it was A LOT of money (from DollarTimes.com - $1,000.00 in 1970 had the same buying power as $6,273.87 in 2016). It was fanfare. I mean $1000. I remember dad being grateful but saying something to the effect of “he likes to make a big show of it and not put it in the plate but hand it to me. When in reality we have people give $40 or $60 a week faithfully in the plate who are giving double or triple that faithfully and not saying a word.”
It’s seen in more than just our giving though. It’s the person who substitutes either cooperate worship for service or service for cooperate worship. It’s the individual who does ONE PROGRAM a year but the rest of the year does nothing in God’s Work. She believes she’s a servant of the Lord when in reality she is just a servant of a program she likes. It’s the same as Martha and Mary - Martha was doing good - but she had convinced herself that by doing that she was doing the best and she wasn’t.
Where in your life are you shorting the best by just doing the good?