I admit it–the polls are going to close in a couple of hours on the East Coast, and I’m already getting antsy to start hearing results. I keep checking my favorite political commentators and statisticians as if their words will assure my comfort and hoped for victory.
I’ve been quite careful not to openly state the candidate I hope will win the Presidential election. I think that as a pastor, my role is to encourage people to think carefully about these things. After investigation and reflection, all should vote in ways that best reflect their understanding of how we live out our Christianity in a nation that is not Christian, but which does give great freedom to practice our faith.
Even with that care, I suspect it is not hard to read between the lines and see where my own hopes sit. I landed there because I do believe we have a corporate responsibility to work for justice and do so with merciful compassion for all, even those who really don’t look like they deserve it.
But, having said that, I am in the midst of preparing a message series based on a book that has kicked many of my assumptions in the gut. The book is called Toxic Charity, authored by Robert D. Lupton. I’ll be writing more about this in the next few weeks, but for this post, I just want to mention what he calls the charitable progression:
- give once and you elicit appreciation
- give twice and your create anticipation.
- give three times and your create expectation
- give four times and it becomes entitlement
- give five times and you establish dependency.
I have a feeling he is right. Have you seen this happen? If so, how do we turn this around?
Happy Election night, everyone.