Our family (and especially my wife) has long enjoyed the fruits of George Cadbury’s labours, yet his chocolate was not his greatest legacy.
Cadbury, a devout Quaker, built towns, country parks, sports fields all in the interest, not of profit but of the lives of the men and women who worked for him.
I was particularly struck by the quote above when visiting the Cadbury factory in Birmingham. Cadbury realised that there is a measure of freedom in how you choose to spend your money. This freedom increases with your wealth. The fact that for many in the western world, despite our wealth don’t feel free is often down to our choices. Cadbury points out that if you spend your money on one thing, you cannot also then spend it on another thing.
He has also developed a clear sense of his priorities – that which is more important to him. Paintings he had decided were not important to him, tackling poverty and the living conditions of his workers was.
It’s too easy for most of us to say but I can’t buy paintings either but the question is the same if you have £10 left over or £1,000,000. What is important to you?
Cadbury is also wise to ask, ‘why should I?’ I imagine there were a great many people suggesting ways he could divest of his fortune. In contemporary life where we face the constant barrage of advertisements there is also a constant stream of suggestions of ways to spend our money.
In the face of this pressure, ‘why should I?’ is a great question to ask.
Here are a few quick reasons though why we should give our money away?
- We can help people with their material needs
- We can help people with their spiritual needs
- We store up for ourselves treasures in heaven
- We become more like our heavenly Father who is an extraordinary giver
What reasons do you have for giving?