I was nominated by my beautiful and amazing friend Meaghan to participate in the #icebucketchallenge for ALS. I’ve been wondering how long it would take to get around to me. I’ve also been wondering what I would actually do when I did receive that challenge. Now, what I’m about to say may offend some, even though I am not commenting on any one person or their choices. #hatersgonnahate . Quite honestly though, I think the whole movement has become a bandwagon sensation. We’ve lost sight of what it means to be joyful givers, and we’ve turned what should be a humbling experience into a joke and a gimmick.
According to Alexandra Sifferlin at TIME, (http://time.com/3136507/als-ice-bucket-challenge-started/) the origination of the ice bucket challenge started as a joke among friends, and later, charitable donations were tied in. Eventually the challenge was linked with ALS and that community has certainly used the ice bucket challenge to spread the word, raise awareness, and raise funds for research and efforts to combat this terrible disease that afflicts so many. So ultimately one organization has been able to latch onto this gimmick and has so far raised over $15 million for their cause. This is amazing, and there is nothing wrong with supporting that charity if that’s where your heart is telling you to donate! However, why not reopen the challenge to any charity of one’s choice as the challenge originally started? How much more good could we do for the world if our efforts were not limited to one need?
Also, how does dumping ice water on yourself help anyone? It’s called putting on a show …and to be blunt the videos are all the same and I don’t even watch them. Oh look, another person just got suckered into dumping cold water on themselves…who cares? It’s not cute…it’s not really even funny or entertaining either. #notimpressed
Oh and I’m sure we’ve all seen this meme running rampant right now as well!
So instead of wasting perfectly good clean cool water on your silly little head, why not give water to people who need it? There are organizations that provide vital, life-saving water to villages in developing nations that truly need it! http://www.waterforsouthsudan.org/take-action/ or http://thewaterproject.org and so many more!
Ever read, A Long Walk to Water by Linda Sue Park?
It’s well worth the day it would take you to read it, and it shows how something as simple as water can bring an end to a conflict that has divided people for countless years! Water is precious, and scarce in more places than we take the time to think about, and here we are throwing it over our heads…to avoid giving to charity.
2 Corinthians 9:7 says Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. The ice bucket challenge demands you pay up to the tune of $100 to the ALS Foundation, or dump ice water on yourself and give only $10. Accepting the ice bucket challenge says 1. I can’t give $100 or 2. I choose not to give $100. Or I guess there’s option 3. I’m just seeking attention.
But, what if? What if we just gave, humbly and joyfully where God calls us to give, in whatever amount or service He asks us to give of ourselves? You see, the ice bucket has gotten in the way.
Be careful not to do your 'acts of righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Don’t misunderstand, it’s not about receiving some kind of credit or reward in the end, but let’s get back to the true spirit of giving. Giving without expectation, and without a show. Giving that is purely meant to do good for others, and with nothing in it for ourselves.
That’s my challenge for everyone! No, I will not be calling people out by name. I am challenging everyone that reads this to prayerfully consider where and how they should give, then step out in faith and follow-through. No ice water necessary, no social media announcement required. Just a simple act of faith and good will in whatever capacity you decide.
Just a thought...