I first heard about the $100 challenge through a friend's Facebook post and I was immediately drawn in. The story touched me. I mean really touched me.
You can check out more about it here: 100dollarchallenge.org and here: The story that started it all.
Basically it is a challenge to use $100 to impact a stranger's life. So often we give from our abundance, we give in a way that will not have a big impact on our own lives. The idea of the $100 amount really struck me because it is an amount that Jetty and I will notice, it will impact us over the holidays. It is more than just simply a few dollars here or there.
In the bible there is a passage that says, "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them." (Luke 6:32) I know it's not really the same, but it makes me think that doing the minimum is such an easy way out. Even those who are not generous may sometimes toss a few coins to someone in need, but is that all I want to do? OR do I want to be truly generous, and give, not out of my abundance, but out of what we could really use?
I'm not writing this to compel anyone to be more charitable, (although if this is a side effect I certainly won't be upset.) but rather to share the thoughts I had when reading about the 100 Dollar Challenge. I do challenge you to think this holiday season about how you can give of your time, money or prayers in a way that is not just giving of your extra time or extra money. What about cutting your budget for something you would like? Or cutting into time you could be using to finish wrapping, baking or decorating?
The 100 Dollar Challenge story is not unlike so many other stories of people being generous, there are examples all around. I think the reason it compelled me most is because it started in London, ON where I used to live. I remember passing this one man so often near my work. He always asked for money and then offered up a "Have a good day!". If I had some spare change, I would give it to him, but often I would just pass him by. I often think about that man and this story made me wonder what would happen if I had ever just walked up to him and offered him $100. I also wonder if he was at all affected by the people who were part of the 100 Dollar Challenge. How could I have positively impacted his life- but never did? I can do it for someone else though...
Jetty and I were trying to decide on the best way to give away $100. We talked back and forth and in the end we decided that we would put $100 in an envelope and set it aside and have it with us so when we see the right person in need we could just give it away. I think we will both just know it's the right person when we see them. I was going to wait until we did it to write this post, but I wanted to make sure I wrote this while I was still feeling that initial passion and excitement. I will be renewed and write again when we give it away too! I can't wait!
"And He sat down opposite the treasury, and began observing how the people were putting money into the treasury; and many rich people were putting in large sums.
A poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which amount to a cent. Calling His disciples to Him, He said to them, "Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all the contributors to the treasury; for they all put in out of their surplus, but she, out of her poverty, put in all she owned, all she had to live on." (Mark12:41-44)