The first problem with engaging in an effective way with some of the issues that plague our globe is that many people are simply unaware.
The second problem is that most people don't realize that they really do have something of value to offer. Perhaps it is insecurity; maybe busyness. But most of this problem comes also from unawareness. Many people are unaware that whatever their skills, gifts, vocations, availability, resources, personalities, interests... everyone can be on the team in the fight against global poverty! No matter who you are, you have what Stearns calls 'the three t's': time, talent, and treasure.
Time is a valuable commodity these days. I can't decide if I would rather have more time or more money, but both seem to be elusive and in demand. The way the world works tells us that our time has value. This is how we are paid, for instance. But we often manage our time poorly, getting neither the amount of rest and recreation nor the amount of productivity and proactivity that we could if a different approach were used. Additionally, we often forget that giving our time in the fight against global poverty can often pack as powerful a punch as a check we write. What are you doing with your time? What do you need less of in your schedule? What do you need more of?
I guess if I could send one message in this post, it would be this: YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO OFFER. You are unique, talented, gifted, experienced, interested. Don't believe the lie that you have nothing to offer. And don't use that as an excuse either. Instead, figure out what it is that you have to offer. How many loaves and fish? If this is new territory for you, talk to a family member or good friend who can help you identify this. Also, check out one or both of these two resources for identifying what you have to offer: S.H.A.P.E. and Strengthsfinder 2.0.
We learned earlier in our look at The Hole in our Gospel that if you earn $50,000, your income is higher than 99% of the people on the planet. If you are reading this blog, chances are you have the opportunity to earn, spend, save, invest, and give money, no matter how meager, adequate, or impressive those dollars and cents may be. I urge you to earn, spend, save, invest, and give that money with an eye on the whole gospel. St. Augustine states it in a compelling and convicting way:
That bread which you keep belongs to the hungry; that coat which you preserve in your wardrobe, to the naked; those shoes which are rotting in your possession, to the shoeless; that gold which you have hidden in the ground, to the needy. Wherefore, as often as you are able to help others, and refuse, so often did you do them wrong.