Some years ago there was a book, and then a film starring that superb young actor Haley Joel Osment – better known for Sixth Sense and AI. The film sadly wasn’t very good, somehow many of the situations in it didn’t quite ring true, and that may well mean the book isn’t all that good; but it contained one brilliant idea.
Young Haley Joel and his class are asked to think of an idea that will make a difference, make the world better; and he comes up with the idea to ‘pay it forward’. That is, when you do good to somebody, don’t expect them to ‘pay it back’ to you – instead, tell them to ‘pay it forward’ by themselves doing good to somebody else, and then follow the same idea for their own good act so that instead of a closed circle of ‘do something for someone – get paid back’, there will hopefully be an ongoing chain of more and more generous acts springing from the first one.
Clearly a good idea, and I think also a Christian idea; God’s grace to us is a classic example, God giving generously and then effectively telling us to ‘pay it forward’ both by doing good to others and by letting others know of God’s generosity so they too can benefit. As I said, the film isn’t too good, but give serious thought to that idea….,