Living Life Extravagantly-Paying it Forward

SUpporting the worldRecently, I have heard many stories about our need to “Pay it Forward”. It seems as if that has become a catch phrase within our culture to engage in benevolent activities. Don’t get me wrong, I firmly believe in doing kind things to/for people whenever/wherever I can. However, it  reminds me of the song “Santa Claus is Coming to Town” and the line that says “he knows if you have been bad or good so be good for goodness sake”.  There may be a nobility veiled in doing good for goodness sake, but knowing human nature there generally is an underlying incentive. For most people the idea of “paying it forward” means you do something good, kind, and unexpected for a friend, co-worker, or stranger knowing that in time you may benefit from someone similarly. I’m not knocking that rationale; as a matter of fact there is even a Scriptural basis for such a belief. Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. (Galatians 6:7) Yet, I want to elevate our thinking about the nature of “Paying it Forward”.

In 1834 a Brethren pastor named George Muller felt led by the Holy Spirit to start caring for orphans in Bristol, England. In addition to pastoring a local congregation, developing training schools, traveling evangelically around the world, and housing and feeding over 10,000 orphans, George Mueller had over 7.5 million dollars pass through his ministry’s hands by the time of his death, while never soliciting donations. Everything that came to the ministry came as a result of prayer. George Muller’s idea of “Paying it Forward” was whatever he had belonged to God anyway. And since he started with nothing, anything he had God gave him anyway, so why not give it away to fulfill God’s purposes.

Trust in the Lord is the proper motivation for giving. Giving, with the Great Giver in mind, can free us from the love of money and position us in partnering with God in making eternal impact in lives around us.