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Choosing Well - Generosity in Crisis

Photo of Hannah Gibney Hannah Gibney
4 min

A new command I give you: love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.

John 13:34-35

We’ve suddenly moved into unprecedented times. We have never seen a global crisis quite like this one before.

While all paradigms seem to be shifting, we’re combating a real danger. Uncertainty, lack of clarity and fear of the unknown are challenging everything we’ve become comfortable with. You’re not alone in the feeling but even if you don’t feel that way, we can see it in our communities, in the press and in our families.

Whilst this can be overwhelming, it also presents us with a choice. We have a choice about where we decide to fix our attention. A choice about the actions we decide to take based on what focus on.

In Matthew 14, when Peter encounters the storm, Jesus teaches us to fix our eyes on him despite the environment we find ourselves in.

…and the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it. Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. ‘It’s a ghost,’ they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: ‘Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.’ ‘Lord, if it’s you,’ Peter replied, ‘tell me to come to you on the water.’ ‘Come,’ he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came towards Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, ‘Lord, save me!’ Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. ‘You of little faith,’ he said, ‘why did you doubt?’ And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshipped him, saying, ‘Truly you are the Son of God.'

Matthew 14:24-33

Our personal storms will all look different. It could be that you’re balancing homeworking and childcare, battling COVID-19 on the frontlines, choosing self-isolation or being overwhelmed by the constant stream of information (and misinformation). Despite all of this, we know there is a constant that, as Christians, we are able to rely on.

The truth is that he is still good. He is still in control. He is still kind.

He has given us the freedom to make choices. If we choose to focus our attention on the only one who can provide the antidote to the fear and present danger then miraculous things will begin to happen. The storm will begin to be stilled. Not only for us, but also for everyone else in ‘the boat’. Peter’s focus as he walked out to meet Jesus on the water caused the peace of Jesus to be evident to the other disciples. Our own choice to focus can help calm the seas for our communities and families.

As believers, many of us will be asking ourselves, and God, how we respond to something of this magnitude. The answer seems to be to love and to love well. To love generously and without selfish ambition. There are many out-workings of this practically, but it starts right in the secret place of focus on Jesus and saying yes to his way of doing things and his way of seeing things.

With that in mind, our team is dedicated to being a safe harbour in this time. For the ministries that are struggling, the Christian workers on the frontlines and for those individuals who have a desire to be abundantly generous with their resources but don’t know where to start. We are blessed to serve our givers and recipients in any way we are able and will continue to do so even in the middle of this storm. We’ve felt something of a battle cry to say that there is now an urgency for those of us who have been given the greatest gift of all to share it with a scared and uncertain world. We can do that with our prayer, our finances, our time and our attention.

The invitation is here to help to meet the immediate physical and spiritual needs of our brothers and sisters and show a little bit of who Jesus really is. We’d love you to join us. Now, the choice is yours. We want to serve you practically in assisting your generosity. Our philanthropy services team is here to help. If you’re already connected with us you will already be receiving communications from us about how we’re practically moving forward. We will be publishing more details here as these responses take shape.

If you’re not yet connected with us, you can contact us here. We would love to partner with and help you at this time.

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Written by

Hannah Gibney

Hannah joined the Philanthropy Services Team in 2019 to help reach out to new and emerging philanthropists. Her previous roles have been in the Christian and secular spheres and she is passionate about seeing people released into the fullness that God has for them.

She loves working in a team where its primary aim is to help people experience freedom through generosity.

She lives and worships in Bristol at Christ Church Clifton and is concerned about Justice and Children and Youth.