Confession time, this one is hard for me. Ever since I was little it has been hard for me to give, and for that matter use my own stuff. I was always afraid to use my favorite marker because then it would be gone. I know, really weird. Giving has been a learned act for me. When we first got married, Loren and I did not have a budget and we just kind of did whatever we felt like with money. We would give in lump sums randomly rather than every month making sure we were giving a certain amount. I thought this would help my reluctance to give because I thought my heart would be right when we felt moved to give. I figured it all worked out in the end. I think this was my excuse to hide the reluctance in my heart. When our income dropped and we decided to get on a budget and pay off our second mortgage, we decided to every month at the beginning give to God first. Every month. Not just when we felt like “giving a lot”. Looking at our budget it was tempting to say well we don’t really have enough money to give that much… At first I still gave reluctantly. But since last April when we started it, God has changed my heart. There has been blessings that I can’t really describe from giving to God first. It was great lesson for me because I realized that I really am not in control anyway. God provided for us this past year and helped us through even when my mind wanted to justify that we didn’t need to be giving that much.
This reluctant giver has learned that contentment also comes in the form of giving. To know that you are helping someone else less fortunate is a great feeling when your heart is right. You may be a natural giver! That is great you already know the blessings of giving. But if you are like me and need to learn the heart of giving, be patient and let God teach you. Be willing to listen and learn, knowing that our money really isn’t ours anyway. It is all God’s.
Scripture to ponder:
2 Corinthians 9:7- “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”
Homework for the Heart:
Read Matthew 25:35-40.
Jesus says “as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
-Ask yourselves if Jesus were the one in need, would you give to him? He says whatever we do to others we are doing to him.
-Identify your heart of giving, is is grudgingly or willingly? Ask God to teach you to have a willing heart. Listen for his lessons.
-Set out to give at the first of every month even if it feels like you can’t. It may take awhile for God to change your heart, but he will if you will let him.