What Facebook and Google Teach Us about the Power of Giving
- Thursday, October 11, 2012
It seems that this degree of separation between the worlds of work and worship is one reason why many men and young people, demographics that the local church often has a hard time connecting with, feel that church and biblical principles are irrelevant to their lives. This is an erroneous but common perception that does not reflect our heavenly father’s intent for godliness (1 Timothy 4:7; 1 Corinthians 10:31). This perception of the value of godliness is similar to the way many view math, or even arithmetic – as a hard, abstract subject with limited or little relevance to everyday life issues and applications. While mathematicians view numbers or equations as being intrinsically beautiful, valuable and relevant, many parents and teachers know that middle school students typically do not share this enthusiasm. But sometimes all it takes to motivate the kids to develop interest in math is to show them its practical relevance. For example, how the Google search function is based on a set of math equations known as eigenvectors, supported by lines of (programming) code. Or the other cool but practical applications that math has made possible - like Finding Nemo and Toy Story, modeling how the human body works and drugs function, creating unbreakable spy codes, taking pictures that can be saved on mobile phones and tablets. The kids’ eyes literally get big and all of a sudden, math doesn’t seem so exotic, irrelevant, and out of reach. They are then often motivated to embrace math and not actively seek to avoid or minimize its use.
Similarly, the growth of Google and Facebook illuminate the power of the biblical principle of giving (Matthew 10:8). It shows that in addition to the fundamental understanding of giving – giving money, aid or charity (Matthew 6:3); and giving mercy, love and forgiveness (Luke 6:38), giving can also catalyze the birthing of new industries, ministries and missions. This understanding of giving compels us to take the gifts, skills, talents, tools and resources God has given us and use them to fulfill His purposes, where and how we work, play and love. Like Joseph put his dream interpretation gift at the service of his fellow inmates. Like Dorcas not only prayed, but also used her garment making and designing skills to keep widows warm in winter. Like the woman who voluntarily provided room and board to a “man of God” (2 Kings 4: 9-10). And yes, like the “poor widow” (Mark 12: 42) who gave all she had, and those “two copper coins” have been in mint ever since as a source of inspiration. One hundred years from now Facebook and Google may or may not be around, but the word of our Lord that it is more blessed to give than to receive will remain as fresh and relevant as ever.
Dr. SG Davidson (Ph.D.), is a minister, scholar, speaker and writer. He has investigated the use of technology for education and infotainment. He has also published extensively and has spoken at churches and conferences in the US, Canada, Mexico, UK, Ireland, South Africa and France. He may be contacted via email - samuelgdavidsonatgmail.com, or on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Dr-SG-Davidson-PhD/299612633483469.
Publication date: October 11, 2012
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