Many years ago I read the book, The Blessed Life written by Robert Morris where he recounts story after story of how he generously gave extravagant gifts, selflessly and willingly. It absolutely revolutionized what I thought about giving.
Growing up in the church and with Christian parents, I was taught to give my first ten percent of everything I earned back to God, because it belonged to Him in the first place. We called it a tithe. But what I never remember being addressed, was the other ninety percent.
Wait a minute…doesn’t it all belong to God? Isn’t He calling us to a life of generosity rather than obligation? Aren’t we to steward what has been so graciously given to us? This spanned way beyond my bank account to a heart issue – because, “where your treasure is, that’s where your heart will also be” Matthew 6:21. I knew my heart was in the wrong place, and if I could get that right, my mindset would change as well.
…doesn’t it all belong to God? Isn’t He calling us to a life of generosity rather than obligation? Aren’t we to steward what has been so graciously given to us?
God really needed to rid me of stinking thinking in several areas. At the time, I believed I worked hard for my money, so the other ninety percent was mine. I thought those that didn’t work hard, didn’t deserve the financial benefits that came as a result, and maybe the worst philosophy I had was that people that owed me money needed to repay it. If I wanted change in my life, I would need to put action behind it.
I began giving more than the ten percent, wanting to buy wells in third world countries and rescue women and children from human traffickers. If I learned of a need and could fill it, I did. I definitely was more generous and less judgmental to those on the streets or less fortunate. My favorite was forgiving debts owed to me. You see, my husband and I ran a business where it wasn’t uncommon for people to owe us money. I began encouraging my husband to let go of it and watch God work. It became somewhat of a game to us.
If I wanted change in my life, I would need to put action behind it.
We actually had a gentleman owe us a couple thousand dollars. When he finally had it to pay back to us, we asked him to give it to woman that we knew of who had very little. The catch was, he had to deliver it and never tell her where it came from. We had released that money, so we never saw ourselves as the giver. It was fun hearing the story of how that transaction went down.
I, by no means have mastered this issue, but what I have learned is this (warning cliché coming), it’s actually better to give than to receive. It’s better for your heart, better for your mind and better for everyone around you.