Thursday, September 27, 2012

Giving: When It's From Daddy


So a few months back I wrote a post about giving. I made the observation that I felt that God had really been revealing a lot to me about giving leading up to my EDGE Corps experience and in the first few weeks of raising support. And He never stopped teaching me things. I know that this summer I learned so much about having a giving heart, learning both from my donors, as well as through the Word. But somewhere between the middle of August and now, I started to forget some of these things.

I started to believe that what I had was mine, and I didn't want to share. I started to see my possessions  money, and time as things that I had worked hard for, so why should someone else benefit from them?

Yes. I know. Even after a summer of seeing God provide BIG time. Even after so many people sacrificing and generously giving to me. Even after living with some of the most giving people I know. I sure can be daft sometimes.

Orrrr, I'm just human. And it takes me more than once to learn a lesson. So let's just say that this last week at church really struck me hard. The sermon's topic: Greed. Ohhh boy. Just to give you a tidbit, one line that has stuck with me is this: "Being stingy can just be a cover-up for greed." Yikes. But the real lesson I took away from it was this:
That which I feel my father has provided for me, I can give freely. That which I feel I have provided for myself, I will have a tight grip on.
Let me break it down for you:

My pastor told how he had bought his daughter an MP3 player when she was younger and filled it with  a bunch of Christian music. After a few days he noticed that he hadn't seen the MP3 player in awhile and asked his daughter about it. She explained that she had met a girl on the bus who didn't have an MP3 player, or even any Christian music for that matter, so she gave it to the girl. Similar scenarios happened a few times after this, where the dad would buy her a new MP3 player and she would inevitably end up giving it to someone less fortunate than herself. Finally, when the daughter was old enough to pay for her own MP3 player, she kept it, and still has it to this day. Once she spent her hard-earned money on it, she wasn't as generous with it.

This is how it so often is with us [well, with me anyway]! If I see what I have- possessions, money, time, as coming from my daddy- God, I can live open-handedly with it. I can give freely. It is only when I start believing that I have provided and worked for what I have, when I forget that all I have is a gift from God, that greed starts to creep in. And I know that's not the way I want to live. I want to live generously. I want to live with open hands and an open heart. I want to live like Jesus lived.

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