Charitable Attitude

I told my wife this morning, “I’m going to the grocery to pick up a prescription this morning. Do you need anything?”

She replied, “You could pick up some of that wine I like–but only if it’s on sale.”

This is a cheap Riesling. It costs around $9 a bottle, $8 something with my discount card. If it’s on sale, it might save another $0.50. This from a woman who just spent $300 for a framed picture for our living room. (We moved during the pandemic, so she’s still in decorating mode.)

While I’m thinking about this typing on my $1,500 Apple laptop at a park, my thoughts coalesced around an incident during a trip we took with a church group that wound up in Egypt.

It seems that there is no toilet paper in the latrines at one of our stops. Women from the area sell toilet paper in order to make a little money to feed their children. The women in our group were aghast! What?? We get toilet paper for free back in America. Why should we pay? And they rapidly organized themselves into who had tissues in their handbags that could share around.

I thought at the time (and still remember with regret that I kept my mouth shut), what a poor example of Christian charity. These women were not “ripping us off.” It was partly custom and partly a way they’d worked out that could provide an income for poor people. It is similar to dropping a coin into the saucer in a German restroom as a tip for the cleaning lady.

It’s like a minimal charity. Although middle class people in America seldom feel rich, we are. There’s a frugal mindset and a cheap mindset (borders on greed?)–and there is also a charitable mindset. Charitable with money and with time and with encouragement.

What mindset do you (and I) cultivate? Does it need continual tuning?

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