Its summer time and there are many sales on with attractive offers of "buy I get 1 free" and so on. This can be a huge temptation to buy up a lot stuff , often stuff we might not necessarily need.Long ago, a friend introduced us to a valuable life principle which I will call “Buy 1 give 1”
How does it work? I have often gone to homes where I have seen cupboards and shelves overflowing with clothes, kitchen ware, artifacts, and nick knacks that no one has use for either because it was an impulse buy,or the older stuff is still lying in the deep recesses of cupboards and shelves causing them to burst at its seams .
Our friend introduced us to this principle that is tucked away in a little book, Ruth which can be found in the Bible. The principle is called “gleaning”, not a term we are familiar with. Gleaning was an old Jewish custom where during harvest the harvesters would be instructed by the owner of the field not to pick every stalk of grain but to leave some behind for the poor would come by at the end of the day and pick up what was left behind. This would help provide a little grain for the poor families.
It is a wonderful principle of being mindful of the poor and caring for them where if everybody practices this the poor would be taken care of by the whole community.
We don’t have fields today but we have a lot that we can share, lot of stuff lying in our cupboards that could clothe many families. Jesus came down pretty hard on the hoarding rich man who wanted to build bigger barns to hoard his wealth – he died in his sleep!!
In the New Testament I see the same principle being put into action by the early church where “all the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.”( Acts 2:44-45). Wow what a radical lifestyle!!
So how can I put this into practice today? Here are some tips and things we have put into practice over the years.
- · When we buy a new item of clothing we give one away – that way your cupboard stays trim and does not overflow.
- · Give it away while it still looks good and has a lot of “wear” left in it. People don’t want your patched, scruffy rags.
- · If it has been lying in your cupboard for more than a year ask yourself the question “do I really need this or am I hoarding this?”It’s amazing how much we can give away and start a ripple effect of blessing.
- · We have gone beyond clothes – we give away book, toys, furniture, electrical appliances, upholstery, etc etc to so many people who could do with a little help when they are just starting out in life.
There is much joy for the giver and the receiver. Rather than trade in something to get a tiny discount we prefer to give stuff away to friends.
We know that a man’s worth is not in the abundance of his possessions – this helps us to handle our possessions lightly and not place a value on it more than it deserves.
Besides possessions we can give a little bit of our time to help someone, share our skill or talent with the less fortunate. Over the years I have used the musical gift to train up many young people in music. It is a joy to see some of them, use that talent to the glory of God. Others invested in me and I have chosen to pass on the blessing.
So can I encourage you to join me on this journey of living out Buy1 give 1 and make a difference to someone out there?
Let’s go and clean out those cluttered closets!!
Navaz D Cruz