The Not So Joyful Giver
As the Heart for the Harvest Offering was approaching, God had really been working on my heart and challenging me on what it means to be a joyful giver and to completely put my faith in God for my family’s finances and future. As with most people, I was worried about the economy, Christmas gifts, tax season, and in the midst of this we were still trying to sell our home, in a horrible housing market, at a bad time of year all while praying about becoming parents to a second child. Not exactly a great recipe for a joyful giver.
God opened my eyes to this while I was reading in Exodus about how the Israelites came together and gave a free will offering to build God’s Tabernacle. There was no arm twisting or guilt, but the people gave so freely and joyfully that Moses had to tell them to stop giving! I can’t ever imagine that happening in our culture today. So why is that? Why do I dread seeing my bank account go down every time I give my tithe and special offerings?
The more I searched my heart, the more I realized it’s because I don’t truly trust God to provide for me and my family. The Israelites literally had nothing when they left Egypt and had to fully rely on God for the riches He gave them. Everything from Pharaoh releasing the Egyptians to the manna and quail he rained down. They had no issues giving freely back to God because they knew without a doubt that God was their provider. All of my life I viewed the paychecks I received not as manna from heaven, but as a direct result of MY hard work and skills. Now that I have a child, I look at our bank account even more carefully; constantly worrying about not having enough of a cushion in case something bad happens now that we have another life to take care of.
But the truth of the matter is that God is Jehovah Jireh. God’s math is not like our math. 2+2 does not always equal 4 in God’s realm. So even though I may still fight my flesh with my finances some days, I now rest in knowing this…
“25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life[a]?
28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6: 25-34
So what is holding you back from being a joyful giver? Is it fear or doubt? I challenge you to let God search your heart and help you release the bondage money may have on your heart. It may not be an easy process, but when you weed, you have to start at the roots.