Everyone knows about the tragic situation at Penn State and even one involving Syracuse’s basketball coach. Ohio State just received punishment for its misdeeds. The list of university’s punished for transgressions is lengthy, with new investigations seemingly starting every month. Add my beloved University of Georgia to the list, thanks to head coach Mark Richt. He was sanctioned for NCAA rules violations in an issue investigators closed on November 30th. Of course, it had to do with money. Here is what Mr. Richt had the audacity to do: he paid several staffers (he felt were not adequately compensated by the school) out of his own pocket. He paid coaches, the director of player development, director of sports medicine, video coordinators, and other assistants more than $60,000 of his own money.
That’s refreshing! I know that Richt can afford to do that better than you and I can, but it still represents uncommon generosity. He did not have to do this. He was concerned about those he deemed under-compensated, and he gave to them. Neither the university nor Richt were fined or penalized, but he was reprimanded. The casual observer of college and professional athletics, where selfishness too often prevails, might secretly hope for a rash of Richt-like behavior.
You and I have the power to do this. To some degree, we all can do it financially. It may be a $20 sent anonymously in a card to someone in need. It may be generously stocking the church pantry. It may be taking a meal to a family. It may be contributing money to missionaries at year’s end.
Yet, we can be generous in ways that do not involve money and have the same impact. It may be a visit, babysitting, housecleaning, providing transportation, or the like. But, going about doing good (cf. Ac. 20:35; Gal. 6:10) catches people off-guard. In an “I-me-my” world, Christians can have the element of surprise simply by acts of kindness. Let’s!