— by Peter Roselle
The Bible has much to say about our attitude toward money and points us towards a generous lifestyle. Yes, it’s important to for us to save for retirement and be diligent with our finances, but we’re also called to use our resources to advance the cause of the Gospel. We’re encouraged to use our gifts of time, talent and treasures to fulfill the great commission to “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you..” (Matthew 28:19-20)
In Genesis God spoke to Abram and said “I will bless you, and I will make your name great; and you are to be a blessing.” (12:2-3) I believe the same principle applies to us: we too have been “blessed to be a blessing”. If you’ve been on a mission trip you likely came home with a much greater appreciation of how blessed we are and how rewarding it is to help others. Generosity isn’t measured so much by the dollar amount of our gift as by how much of our heart we can share with the person receiving the gift. It’s fine to write a check to make a donation but we reach a higher level of two-way impact when we are face to face with those in need. Both sides are blessed when we can look each other in the eye.
Jesus said, “I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in; I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me… inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:35-36, 40)
“inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matthew 25:40)
I feel very privileged to have become friends with people who live extremely generous lifestyles. Their attitude is contagious. They inspire me to keep expanding my boundaries of what generosity looks like and the different forms it can take. One friend who works on Wall Street decided to open a restaurant in the theater district in NYC called P.S. Kitchen and donate the profits to charity. That’s a big assignment since her day job is very demanding. Add the fact that the competition in the restaurant business in mid-town is fierce and you can see how committed she and her husband are to fulfilling this vision.
There’s more: in addition to donating the profits to charity they share the practical love of God with the staff. They determined to hire people who have come from difficult backgrounds so they can provide job and life-skills training to create a culture where the staff feels honored. Can you see how much more powerful this is compared to dropping a check it in the mail?
From the P.S. Kitchen website: “Our Mission: To leverage the power of good food and an open heart to lovingly serve our clients, employees, society and the earth. Our Non Profit work: We commit our energy, passion, and time to giving others a “hand up” rather than a “hand out.” Our mission is to break the cycle of poverty by connecting resources to vulnerable communities, providing tools necessary for self-sustainability, and building meaningful relationships with our neighbors, near and far. That makes a social business. That makes P.S.”
If you ever find yourself in mid-town Manhattan you have a chance to eat at a restaurant that is fairly priced with good food. The profits go to charity and the staff is full of people rebuilding their lives from difficult circumstances. P.S. Kitchen’s address is 246 W. 48th (near 8th Ave.).
P.S. Please leave a generous tip!
[Special thanks to Mapquest for the cover photo.]