I'm not a theologian, I don't play one on TV and I claim no special expertise in the subject. I've often wondered why God chose to do it the way He did. Why couldn't He do with Adam and Eve what we do with our children--admonish, perhaps punish, then forgive and forget? Why did He choose to send His son to die (and not only die, but die horribly) for us and for our sins? I think it was to give us a concrete example of how to live selflessly, and by doing so, to create a new life for ourselves and for others. There are a lot of very good people throughout the world who do not believe in Jesus or the resurrection. However, if you look at cultures as a whole, the ones that have adopted the Christian ethos of self-giving for the good of other humans are the ones, that as a whole, have become the most advanced, the most prosperous and the most peaceful. Is that because God blesses us in a special way, or because self-giving ultimately helps all of us?
I became interested in financial blogging while doing research on a new financial product I ran across on the internet--peer to peer lending. I wrote about it on my general (mostly books) blog and then decided to move over here. In short, with peer to peer lending, investors buy small portions of loans, and when the loans are repaid, earn interest. In my experience so far (8 months), it has been a good investment. But you ask, what does that have to do with self-giving? There is another lending platform out there to which I'd like to introduce you: Kiva Loans. Kiva works with various anti-poverty, economic development NGOs to provide loans to help the less fortunate better their lives. Much like the Lending Club platform, the lenders get to review borrow profiles and decide whether they want to invest their money in that particular loan. While those investing with Lending Club gain economically, those who invest with Kiva get the satisfaction of knowing their loans have made life better for someone. Unlike a straight charitable donation, there is a chance that your investment in Kiva will be repaid, so you can then re-invest, helping someone else (or take your money out, if desired). How good is that chance? Honestly, I don't know. I made a loan; I hope it is paid back; if it is not, oh well, it is a donation. I hope my borrower is able to make a better life for herself and her family. If she pays me back, I can help someone else with the same money.
Do you invest with Kiva?