“From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” – Luke 12:48
This week I’d like to share two stories. The first I heard on the radio news station I was listening to this past week while driving along in my car. It was a human interest story about a bank in North Dakota that had reinstituted the tradition of paying Christmas bonuses to its employees. This year each part time worker will receive $500 and full time employees will each receive $1,000. But there is a catch. The recipients are not allowed to spend the money on themselves or their families. Instead, they have to give it away. It must go for a greater cause. One lady, according to an interview with the bank’s president, had already committed her funds in support of an unemployed single mom and her small children. In the interview the bank president speculated there would be many other wonderful stories emerge from the recipients of those bonuses.
The second story is one that I not only witnessed but participated in. Years ago back in my previous life in the corporate world one of my colleagues approached me with an idea. Instead of giving each other Christmas gifts, she suggested, why didn’t we pool the money we would have collectively spent on those gifts and help someone in need. So, through a church we were able to identify a family in desperate need, an immigrant family from Mexico with five small children whose mother had been diagnosed with cancer and the father was unemployed. With our pooled funds, plus donations from others outside our business unit, we purchased food, clothing, and many other items that the family needed. But we didn’t just send it to them; we delivered the gifts personally – all of us at one time. One colleague even dressed up like Santa Claus. What happened that day became a tradition for us, growing to the extent that we were able to help even more families in need. That experience not only helped those in need; it changed us as well. It made us all better human beings.
I do believe that much is expected from those of us who have been given much. It’s our opportunity to make the world a better place. And I think the bank president is right, many amazing stories will emerge from the employees who receive those bonuses.