Today my friend donated 1/2 of his earnings today to a charity in Haiti that cares for a growing population of orphans there. He himself has adopted a child from Haiti as well as Uruguay, Ethiopia and the U.S.
This week alone he has donated over $12,000 to charities around the world including USA. He doesn't post his donations for pats on the back or any sort of public recognition but to inspire others to be generous with their giving as well.
In every other area of leadership, we expect leaders to lead by example. Posting these receipts is really the only way to lead by example. If you don't let people know you gave, are you an example to anyone? You can only be an example by inspiring people with your own actions. So posting is kind of necessary if you're going to inspire others to do the same.
Now... some have this idea that his good deeds look bad.
My friend's post inspired some people to criticize and accuse him of looking for recognition. Here's a comment someone made after his donation,
"For $6,000, Michael purchased ATTENTION today. Bravo, Michael!"
This person obviously thought Michael was just looking for attention. But, I don't think the orphanage in Haiti is criticizing him. And if that $6K went to a charity that was close to your heart, I doubt you would be criticizing him either. Anyway, I digressed.
Jesus actually tells the story of a man who was quite generous himself as a "good Samaritan" who showed mercy to someone who was robbed, beaten, stripped and left for dead. Jesus is telling others about this man and then tells them to go and do likewise.
For those that criticize the "Good Samaritan" or even my friend who is leading by example to inspire others to "go and do likewise", consider the good in their generosity. There's really no need to try and make it anything but what it is, mercy and compassion. Instead of criticizing, consider what Jesus said, "Go and do likewise."
For those that are like the Good Samaritan and my generous friend, keep being you. God has given each a gift... some have been given the gift to preach, some given the gift to sing and some given the gift to give. Nurture that gift and use it! There's always going to be the haters and skeptics. As it was said in the Paradoxical Commandments written by Dr. Kent Keith,
#2 - If you do good,
people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
Have you ever done someone a favor only to have them stab you in the back later? Have you ever sacrificed to help someone out only for them to get mad at you? Have you ever loved on someone only to have them spread rumors about you behind your back? If so, you would have every right to be upset and give up on helping others. But, that's not God's way. Be a blessing anyway.
Imagine the way Christ felt when He was betrayed, crucified when He was innocent and talked bad about when He only loved on people. I'm so glad He didn't stop loving us. I'm so glad He didn't stop showing His mercy on us. I'm so glad He didn't give up on us.
As a pastor, I still feel like I'm one of the least deserving of His grace and love. But yet, as unworthy as I feel at times, He never gives up on me. In fact, He never ceases to amaze me the way He continues to bless me, over and over again.
As for my generous friend, it is an honor to know him and learn from him. This week he donated over $12,000 dollars to charities all over the world. And as long as He keeps sowing, I know God will keep giving him seeds to sow.
[2 Cor. 9:10-11 NLT] 10 For God is the one who provides seed
for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity in you. 11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.
Thank you my friend for your humility and your generosity. God has gifted you and it is an honor to know you. And for all my friends that will be attending our Leadership Boot Camp in May, you'll get to meet this man of God as he inspires us to be the best we can be and to help others do the same.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go and love on some people. Go and do the same. :)