A number of things have revealed themselves during the COVID-19 crisis.One is a seemingly friendlier disposition of people. Have you noticed, while walking the neighborhood or the infrequent visit to the grocery store, how people are so much more courteous and friendly? A smile, a warm hello, while keeping a comfortable distance, goes a long ways in making the day a little brighter.
The Check is in the Mail
So how do we respond to the economics of the day? React with fear and trepidation, or seek opportunity to share and be generous?Even though one should not tell others how to spend their money, I offer my opinion as to how one might approach this crisis opportunity. Besides, the Corona Checks are not personal money; it is society's money. How might we use it to reveal our Christian principle of 'Love your neighbor?'
First, to those in our communities who are hardest hit by the economic shutdown. Lost your job, furloughed, or seen a decrease in your business? Then use your CARES relief check and buy those essentials your family needs. This time, it is your community's turn to help take care of you.
- Start by tithing a minimum of 10% of your Corona Check to Messiah or another favorite charity. You received a gift – therefore respond by making a gift.
- Support local businesses that are still open. Many are struggling to stay open and keep their staff paid.
- Avoid shopping online at the big online outlets if you can find similar products online locally. It is okay if you have to spend a little more to love your neighbor.
- Set aside most of your Corona Check for supporting the local community when shops, bars, and restaurants reopen. In addition, when you do visit the reopened shops – buy more and tip big.
- Perhaps convert the check to cash – thus insuring to use it locally. By paying cash, you will also save the local merchant the charges they would incur if you used a credit card.
- Calculate how much money you are saving now by not driving, going out for meals, coffee, and entertainment. Add those savings to your tithe and your support for the neighborhood businesses.
- If you have children at home and they receive a check (could be up to $500 per child) – take the opportunity to teach about Christian Stewardship and help them understand how giving/spending their money helps their neighbor. Generosity is a learned behavior.
What we will learn and remember about this crisis? My hope is that somehow we as a society will remember a time when the well-being of our neighbor was just as important as our own personal well-being. A time when we turned from "It's all about me;" to "We're in this thing together." In addition, I hope we will remember the lesson of the face mask:
I wear it not to keep me healthy, but to keep you healthy.