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"Why I Love Starbucks"


"If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs. Beware lest there be a wicked thought in your heart, saying, 'The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand,' and your eye be evil against your poor brother and you give him nothing, and he cry out to the LORD against you, and it become sin among you. You shall surely give to him, and your heart should not be grieved when you give to him, because for this thing the LORD your God will bless you in all your works and in all to which you put your hand. For the poor will never cease from the land; therefore I command you, saying, 'You shall open your hand wide to your brother, to your poor and your needy, in your land.'"

Deuteronomy 15:7-11

I am not much of a coffee drinker but I have to confess even though I do not ascribe to the political or moral policies of Starbucks Incorporated, I have found a practice of many of its customers that has moved me from what some might call a conservative to becoming a full fledged liberal. I frequent my local Starbucks mostly to purchase iced tea for my wife as she spends most of her free time working outdoors in her garden or tackling one of her never ending projects in her "she shed". I use the drive thru almost exclusively when I visit and not merely for the convenience but also for the opportunity it presents me to practice my liberality.

If you have visited the drive thru at a Starbucks with any amount of frequency there is a good chance the person in front of you in the drive thru will purchase your drink for you at some point. I have no idea how this practice was started but I truly appreciate the random acts of kindness many of the customers display. I have learned more lessons about my Christian faith while going through the drive thru at my neighborhood Starbucks than almost any other single location. When I first began to visit the Starbucks and the person in front of me purchased my drinks I merely thanked the Lord for who ever the kind and thoughtful person was and prayed the Lord would bless them in return for the kindness they showed me, most likely a perfect stranger to them.

As time went on I grew to not only thank the Lord for the gift and the kindness shown me by the person paying for my order, I began to purchase the drinks for the vehicle behind me to keep the "pay it forward" string alive. So far the record of people paying at the Starbucks near me is like 38 straight vehicles paying for the person behind them. I first paid for the car behind me simply because I didn't want the curse on me of breaking the string. I don't believe in bad Karma but many of Starbucks employees do so as to not ruin their day I would gladly pay for someone else's order. Besides, I liked the way I felt when I gave to someone I didn't even know simply because I wanted to do something kind that hopefully would bless them as much as I am blessed when someone purchases my order for me. Its one of the few opportunities I have found where I can reap and sow in the same day!

Why I love Starbucks is the lessons I have learned about giving liberally to others, not stingy or begrudgingly but with joy, preferring others over myself. Starbucks has helped me to recognize a world full of need and how a simple cup of coffee, a cup of water, or just one meal can make a difference in a persons day, and for some maybe their life. The greatest lesson I have learned though is that, "paying it forward" might be a nice gesture for a Starbucks customer but for me as a child of God, as someone who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ its not an option, it is a command, a way of life. Giving to others without expecting anything in return, helping the poor by giving liberally is not natural, its supernatural.

You and I who love the Lord are commanded, (that means it's not optional) to share what we have with the less fortunate. God doesn't say how much you and I have determines if we give or not. The determining factor in our generosity is based on the need of those who find themselves in need. God's method of support for our fellow man is not "Communism" where we take from the rich and give to the poor. God's method of caring for the world around us is "Commonism" from Acts chapter 2 where the first church shared with one another as needed and they had all things in common. Communism's philosophy is "what's yours is mine" where as the heart of Acts chapter 2 and "Commonism" is "what's mine is yours". Communism takes where "Commonism" gives. 

One of the best stories in the Bible regarding giving is in Mark chapter 12, the story of the poor woman who put two mites into the offering. "So He (Jesus) called His disciples to Himself and said to them, "Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; "for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood." Mark 12:43-44 (NKJV).

The world is in desperate need of more liberals, those who are looking out for and seeking to meet the needs of the less fortunate. God has commanded us to give liberally with the desire to reflect His love, and to communicate to the world that God cares and is intimately involved in the affairs of His people on a day to day basis. Remember, "the kindness of God leads a man to repentance" Romans 2:4 reminds us. Don't miss out on your chance to show the kindness of God to others with the hope of ushering them into a personal relationship with Jesus! Let your light shine today, loved one, "pay it forward" and help the world to know the love of God that is found in Jesus Christ our Lord by giving liberally keeping in mind, God loves a cheerful giver!

"Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life."

1 Timothy 6:17-19 (NKJV)


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