Who doesn’t like receiving packages? Whether it is something ordered online or a surprise from a friend, we all love going to the mailbox and receiving a package. As a kid, I would find myself shaking the box to try and figure out what was inside. I recently received a package from Faithbox. While I knew the box would be coming, I had no idea what the contents would be. Don’t worry. I didn’t shake the box!
I opened the box and found a SW Basics lip balm, Kutoa protein bar, candle, monthly devotional, and It’s Not What You Think book by Jefferson Bethke. The item I got most excited about was the Kutoa bar. As someone who has a lot of food allergies, the bar is not only gluten-free, soy-free, vegan and non-GMO, but each bar helps feed a child through the World Food Program. After I snacked on my bar, I wanted to light the candle and curl up and read the books.
Each month, items in the Faithbox are selected in order to help subscribers discover socially-responsible companies that will help enrich their faith through inspirational books and items. Not only do many of the items in the box participate in one-for-one give back programs, but Faithbox itself gives back. For every box that is purchased, they feed an orphan child for a day through their partnership with Rice Bowls. Over 45,000 meals have been provided thus far and each month they plan on providing 10,000 meals via Rice Bowls. This impressed me because as a consumer, I want to support businesses that are giving back, but I often lack the time to be able to go out and research each one.
Research shows that consumers are becoming more educated and aware about the products and companies that they support through their purchasing dollars. A recent study by Good Must Grow found that 32% of Americans are planning to spend more with companies who are socially responsible and 64% confirmed the importance of buying from socially responsible companies.
I was also intrigued by Faithbox founder, Willie Morris’ spiritual journey. He was raised in the Catholic church and became an atheist after college.
Morris shared, “If you had told me that I would refer to myself as a Christian, I would have laughed at you. A year ago, I wouldn’t have believed that I’d be comfortable speaking outwardly about my own beliefs and faith, and, never in a millions years would I have imagined running a faith-based startup. Growing up, I was unable to find sufficient answers or guidance to questions about faith, God, and religion — so, as I was finishing up college and spending hours upon hours in a genetics lab, the easiest solution was to dismiss every notion of religion. To be fair, Jesus, himself, could have been there to answer my questions and I wouldn’t have listened. I’ve always said how open-minded I was compared to others at Auburn, but I wasn’t open-minded, I just had different perspectives.”
It wasn’t until he was working at a non-profit in Florida seeing first hand the positive impact one person could have on others through simple selfless actions that gave him a dose of faith in humanity that led him to reestablish his relationship with God and Christianity. He started Faithbox as a way to make a positive impact through simple actions and help equip others in their faith but the company actually impacted him before they even sent out their first box.
His company has enabled him to meet various people from all different backgrounds. They have shared with Willie their struggles and faith journeys and as a result, it caused him to reexamine his Christian faith. He realized that he had become complacent in his faith. Now he is looking forward to overcoming his complacency and getting out of his comfort zone.
In the same week that I received my Faithbox, I received another package in the mail. It was something I ordered online. I was greatly disappointed in the package. Even though it was exactly what I ordered, it wasn’t quite as I had imagined it. As excited as I was about receiving a surprise package in the mail from Faithbox, my other package reminded me of the verse in James 1:17, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”
Often times, we put our hope and trust in material possessions-a purse, the latest car. We get disappointed because something isn’t just the way we wanted it. Sometimes, we are even disappointed with the person that gave us the gift. Instead, we need to put our hope in God. Look to His purposes and plans. He loves to give gifts to his children. They may not be physical things either. They may come in the form of an encouraging word from a friend, an act of kindness or a glimmer of sunshine. Each is a way to point back to His faithfulness and ultimately to draw us closer to Him.
Rather than trying to accumulate things today, take a few minutes and reflect on the things God has given you-your home, the food you eat, the clothes on your back, friends and so much more! Pray and thank Him for those things. Sometimes it helps to write them down that way when we are disappointed with something we are able to put it into perspective. Ask for forgiveness if you have been ungrateful. Ask Him for ways you can be a blessing to others and demonstrate His love to them. Whether it is a package in the mail, an encouraging note, an email message, take the opportunity to encourage someone in their faith by sharing the gifts God has given you.