Monthly Archives: May 2016

Winsome generosity


gift-1196258_1280I have a love/hate relationship with free.

Free shipping.
“Order now and get a second one free.”
Free donuts on National Donut Day.
“Try Zoosk! Sign up for a free 30-day trial offer.

They are all intriguing. And I’ve fallen for every single one of them. (Except the Zoosk one. Tim doesn’t let me date.)

They aren’t free at all. There’s always a cost.

  • Free shipping: Let’s be perfectly clear. The shipping cost is INCLUDED in the price. It is not free.
  • Get a second one free: This time the outrageous shipping costs are tacked on for the “free” one, making it way less than free.
  • Free donuts: Okay, fair enough, no money changes hands. But do you really want to sit or stand in line with about 186 of your closest donut friends to get one single sweet treat? No $$$ but those lines are pretty crazy. See? Not so free.
  • 30-day free trial. Now, I’ll grant you that some of those trials are helpful. You get a fair taste of what is available and it’s up to you to use the days wisely.
    For those of you who are diligent, you cancel on day 29 1/2.
    And don’t forget – in order to get those free 30 days, you must provide an email address (for your login, of course) and a credit card number (so your subscription can continue seamlessly after the first 30 days.)
    So, then there are those of us who always, always, always forget. And get charged for a month of service. We come to our senses and notify them – early, of course, just to make sure it doesn’t happen again. Essentially, we use this whatever-it-is service for possibly a total of 8 days for a 30-day charge.
    AND we have given them an email account number to boost their sales prospect list – and, ironically, they get it for free.

Hence the love/hate.

But it’s understandable, right? Companies do not give things away out of the goodness of their sweet corporate hearts. No they don’t.

Even the best customer gets pampered just so they will come back and keep coming back.

Free isn’t free at all. These companies hold back a little for themselves. An expectation of loyalty. The chance that we’ll forget that 30-day deadline. The personal email address of a potential customer.

But then how about what I give away?

Good golly, Miss Molly.

  • When I forgive and forget, do I expect the same in return?
  • When I drop everything and run, or when I promise “whatever you need,” am I just making sure that I’ll get a Yes next time I ask?
  • And do I say Yes in public, but end up saying Oh, sorry, but no in private?
  • Do I give because my heart is winsome and sweet? Or do I keep mental notes of nearby admirers?

Do I truly want to be a blessing? Or am I just building my Generosity Resume? Click it to Tweet it.

Jesus said it like this: Freely you received, freely give. (Matthew 10:8)

So, when I say I want to be Jesus with skin on, I better make darn sure that my free is just that.



Everybody – Part 1


I am starting a course that Blaine Hogan created called Make Better. (The tag line is Better Humans – Better Art.) More accurately, I’m starting it again. I tried it a long time ago – and by that, I mean more than 6 months ago. So I decided to just start over sunset more like Jesuson Session 1, Page 1.

In Session 1, the goal is to create a life creed. (Creed comes from the Latin credo which means “a statement of belief.”) It’s quite an exercise. Blaine walks you through brainstorming and asking questions and leads you to determine at least the beginning of what your creed might be. He says that the creed may change over the course of the course. But at least it’s a beginning.

I was asked to list words that make me come alive: peace, fairness, hope, innocence, compassion, kindness, generosity, selflessness, balance, patience, love, forgiveness.

And since for me, you know, it’s all about balance, I made another list – words that kill my spirit: bully, cheat, inhumanity, powerless, condescending, orphan, homeless. 

I listed things that give me joy: family celebrations, being home safe and sound, those Special Olympic kids that link arms to cross the finish line together, the winner whose first thought is to shake hands with second place, finding the lost tiny one unharmed. 

And things that hurt my heart: man’s inhumanity to man, Simon Cowell’s nasty comments, the odd kid at school, political rhetoric, overpaid professional athletes that pout when they lose.

So, I revisited Session 1. I viewed the video by Seth Godin again (it’s hilarious). I made a new list of words. I answered the questions and brainstormed. In the end, it was confirmed: second time – same creed.

Here it is: Everybody is somebody.

I see this differently than other perfectly fine creeds that may look the same: All Lives Matter and We’re all in this together and Everybody is equal. I don’t disagree with any of those things. But they don’t mean Everybody is somebody.

This isn’t about being entitled to equal treatment under the law. It’s not about all doing our fair share. It’s not about being the same in every way.

It’s about the fact that every single one of us started out with a tiny body and a precious soul. Some of the bodies turned out a little different than others and don’t quite fit the prevailing mold. Some of the souls have been crushed under the weight of reality while others exalted by the whims of society, professional sports, and Hollywood.

But nobody is less than somebody.

Good golly, Miss Molly. I sure wish I lived this out. I wish I wasn’t ever mean-spirited or envious or proud. I wish making a creed was the key to living more like Jesus.

But when I figured this out – really nailed down those words – my focus became more clear. What I write, what I do, how I live – all of those things should reflect what I believe. Click to Tweet.

Everybody is somebody.

And, by the way, if you don’t feel like somebody when you’re around me, call me out on it. It’s the only way I’m going to Make Better.

And, by the way, what’s your creed?