Financial lesson #2: Giving
I think most of us, if we are completely honest with ourselves, are quite selfish even in our giving.
When I give I want it to be on my terms. I don’t like a knock on my window when I pull up to the stoplight asking for some money for lunch. They should know the only change I have is for emergencies and this doesn’t qualify. I’m much more comfortable knowing that I commited to paying $30 a month to sponsor a child, and it will cost me just $30.
When I give my hard earned money I want it to go to a deserving organization. I want to feel good about it. I often want to be recognized for it. I mean, after all, isn’t this my money I’m giving away?
Many of the thoughts I mentioned above are perfectly okay, but there are a few reasons that sometimes they are not. You see, a major part of the call to give is to teach you that money is not your god or master.
Take Jesus’ encounter with the rich young ruler* as an example (I’m not a ruler, but I sure feel young and rich). Did Jesus ask him to give everything he had so that the needs of the poor would be met? That was probably one reason. Most of us recognize though, that it was very much about him being willing to let go, and follow Christ. I far too often hear the response to that passage being that we aren’t required to give everything away, we just should be willing to if God ever asked it of us (and lo and behold I know not one person who God has ever asked to give away all they had).
Well today is the day. It’s time to for you to open your tight fist and release your tight grip on money, so that you can grip easily the hand of God. Today we stop making excuses and being self-centered in our giving, instead we give because we NEED to give to release our tight grip on money; to acknowledge that money is not our god.
Your Assignment for the Week/month: Take $100 (For most people with an income that’s probably less then half your tithe each month) out of the bank in $1 bills. Over the next month: give to anyone who asks, drop bills in places they’ll be found, try to give a dollar to a random stranger, hide them in findable places at work, drop them out the window at a school bus stop. Have fun, and give with no expectations or qualifications on your giving.