In 2010, Rianne and I joined a couple friends of ours for a stroll in a mall in Ilo-Ilo. We came across a car display in the center of the mall, and being young couples, we took time to look at the cars and we quickly made our picks. We then laid hands on the cars we wanted and prayed and claimed it for ourselves. We went out that place with grin on our faces. I thought that was just another episode of a young couple’s adventures. Three years after, our friends are now driving a brand new Ford Everest! I took time to contemplate on it as we celebrated with them.
No doubt about it, their Everest can be attributed to their rich generosity. Inspired from watching the movie, The Machine Gun Preacher, I call people like our friends, The Machine Gun Givers (They don’t give out guns, they just give like guns).
What are Machine Gun Givers like?
1. Machine gun givers are radical givers.
I have to further explain this because radical generosity has become a cliché instead of an everyday practice. Generous people are people richly blessed because money is not their God. If something is not an idol (god), it’s easy to give it away. Their thoughts are not on the next meal, but it’s on the next giving opportunity! Every time they come in a coffee shop, a party, a meeting, their giving antennae is already up. The opposite of that is someone who always wants to be on the receiving end. If you are someone like that, haven’t you wondered why you have always been on the receiving end for the longest time now? Jesus said it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).
2. Machine gun givers give a lot even when they have little.
Even if they are low in ammunition, they give generously. And because of that, they don’t run out of ammunition. Generous people live lives that are not dictated by the abundance of money or the lack of it. They give sacrificially, joyfully. Mark 12:41-44 records the offering of a poor widow. You get to understand one thing in that story: sacrificial giving does not escape the eyes of God. When we give to people, we give the best. Why? Because we are to be imitators of God (Ephesians 5:1), and we all know that He has given the best.
3. Machine gun givers’ giving is not calculated.
I’m not suggesting that giving should not be thought upon. But calculated giving is giving within the means, there is little or no faith in that. Of course, I am for practicality, but at the end of the day God is pleased with faith (Heb. 11:6). So our measure of faith is what matters. Again, I’m talking about machine gun givers. If you’re a caliber .45 or a pistol, I know you would protest. I can be a reckless giver. My wife can be reckless giver. I do believe that when we give beyond what is comfortable and easy, we are putting our trust in God and we are moving in faith and not in fear. I calculate on God’s mathematics, not on my own.
Stories of Machine Gun Givers:
My brother could have easily been a millionaire at the age of 23. He gave away so much to so many. He lost parts of it, but I never saw him in lack and I never saw him deprived. I never saw him lack the wisdom in producing wealth!
At age 18, my sister has bigger savings than any teenagers her age. She has started her own business with her own money, that way she could help out my parents. One thing my wife and I noticed about her, she is a relentless giver! She fights for her giving.
My pastor falls in the same category. I’ve worked with him for several years and I know their travails as a family, but he surely is one of the most incredibly generous people I have ever met. The times I got a rebuke from him were the times I would insist on paying for meals.
On a side note, the best fights I have ever seen are fights as to who pays for the meal. If there is no fight, one thing is clear, no one on the table is generous. There are creative ways in outpointing your opponent in meal paying (there’s the under the table style, glance and wink at the waiter style, C.R. muna ako style,…). It sure is fun!
Another guy: Ted Tiu. A 72 year old retired pensioner. He is an epitome of generosity. He knows one thing: stewardship. He is a vessel of God’s blessing simply because he has proven himself very faithful in that.
Another thing I’ve noticed with Machine Gun Givers is that they enjoy their provision. They enjoy their blessings. These people with all discipline absolutely store up food in summer (Prov. 30:25), no question about that, but they also understand one thing: that God’s rich blessings are for their enjoyment. (1 Tim 6:17).
So, having said all of these, here’s my prayer for all of us: Bratatatatatatatttt!!!