I usually do not agree with Glen Beck. I’ll go ahead and say that he can seem a little like Alex Jones, and his conspiracy theories seem to promote a political standpoint that can cause people to be scared of any movement out of the norm at all. But he did mention one thing the other night that I couldn’t help but agree with. Among all the talk that I didn’t agree with about money coming from politicians, he mentioned that we should open our wallets and time to those in need directly. What a surprisingly Godly thing to say. I think he was onto something that has been a wish of God since the beginning. If you read Torah, there is a recurring theme of giving those who need (or will need). In the prophets, there is a calling back to that sort of understanding.
In the New Testament, there is a repeat of that same idea (yes, they repeat the same points and are most of the time not novel in there ideas). They pull from the long history of understanding God as a generous One who wishes others to be that generous image to creation.
I take this idea and apply it more specifically. Most of you have credit/debit cards. What you may not know is that every time you use it, there is an extra fee put onto the charge. It’s not a fee that you pay, you pay what comes up on the register. But the company is charged for running that card. Now, for a large company that makes billions, that is something they anticipate and have the funds to cover this, but I shop and eat and drink at a couple local places that struggle with this. Some have had to fight tooth and nail to come up with ways to either deter the use of cards for items under $5 (a slight inconvenience that some can overlook), or start increasing the price of items (an inconvenience that EVERYONE will notice). You should think about this next time you pay with your card.
There are two ways you can remedy this.
1) Pay with Cash at local setups. They truly local places (places that are not made into a chain or make a substantial amount) will greatly appreciate this. For me this has caused a sense of compassion for the worker and sometimes opens a conversation that can lead to witnessing the faithfulness of Christ (Gal. 2:16). Plus, it at least shows you are aware and responsible.
2) If you pay with your card on an item under $10, leave a 25% or more tip. I even say that if it is below $5, then you should leave a 50% tip. That allows extra funds to allocate for these expenses. This depends on how they disperse their tips, since you have to deal with tips as an earning of the people who service the customer, so you might have to be creative. There is always a way to help cover the problems you might be creating. You can’t erase your wrong, but you can fight to undo the coming consequences.
Something that is always helpful is to eat at home. Although this means that you are not paying someone else something, you are also not wasteful in causing extra, unnecessary funds to be spent. Some of you out there might have a better idea on how to handle these things. But I want to start this dialogue from the Spirit inside you so that conviction will take you to look out for the Saints, humans, and creation.
Grace and peace to you all.