“In a culture where giving back through consumption is increasingly popular, and where myriad companies market items that purportedly help those in need, we should be cautious and deliberate about how we choose to support international development.”
This is an excerpt from an article on how companies like TOMS purport to help the poor. You can read that article in its entirety here. What I found particularly poignant in that article, were the words “giving back through consumption.” I suppose it’s quite a natural outgrowth of capitalistic thinking, but to be honest, I struggle with the concept from a biblical point of view.
It’s probably an over simplification, but I could categorize giving in 3 ways;
1. Giving to Give – Jesus’ teaching and example
2. Giving to Get – Prosperity Gospel & Seed Faith Nonsense
3. Getting to Give – “Giving Back Through Consumption.”
So, help me out here. Is “Giving Back Through Consumption,” a biblically viable form of transformational development?
Also, you may be interested in my 4 part series called “A Theology of Poverty & Praxis”