The Motivation for Generosity
Wise giving with the right motivation will lead to great rewards.
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Stephen King is the author of 49 suspense and horror novels that have sold over 350 million copies. Some of his novels have been made into blockbuster movies like The Shining, Fire Starter, and Shawshank Redemption. He's a raging Boston Red Sox fan, so the Red Sox always appear somewhere in his novels. Do you know he's a guitar player in a mediocre rock 'n roll band made up of other famous authors? You don't want to go on iTunes to get their music, believe me. Do you know that he's a recovering alcoholic? Do you know that he almost lost his life a few years ago? He was walking along a country road in Maine, and a van hit him and knocked him into a ditch. His legs were so crushed the doctors considered amputating them. But he managed to pull through. Did you know that he's an outspoken advocate of generosity? This caught my attention, and I couldn't believe it: Stephen King, the horror novelist, advocates generosity?
I came across it reading excerpts from a speech he gave to the graduates of Vassar College. It was a commencement address shortly after his accident and recovery. He said,
I found out what "you can't take it with you" means. I found out while I was lying in the ditch at the side of a country road covered with mud and blood and with the tibia of my right leg poking out the side of my jeans, like a branch of a tree taken down in a thunderstorm. I had a Master Card in my wallet, but when you're lying in a ditch with broken glass in your hair no one accepts Master Card. We all know that life is ephemeral, but on that particular day and in the months that followed, I got a painful but extremely valuable look at life's simple backstage truths.
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Jim Nicodem is founder and pastor of Christ Community Church in St. Charles, Illinois.