Give Generously to God
The dust is settling here… as busy hands read new books, build new projects, and organize their” stuff”.
I’m able to come to terms with throwing out a few more things in attempt to organize all of the junk 8 children seem to accumulate. In all seriousness, our families do not go overboard with our kids… and we are grateful. They often get educational items, books, things that engage their mind, or that they can use to bless others! We also personally keep things from getting out of control by only buying our children 3 gifts from Mom and Dad – one of which they trade names and buy for one another. It’s a good lesson in thinking of others, and gift buying with a budget.
This year however, I read a blog that deeply touched my heart. Through my tears, I shared it with the kids one morning during school. Since we were late on drawing names and choosing gifts for each other this year, I suggested taking that budget to pick out some things for other kids… who needed necessities to live. Eager to browse through the options, they all thought it was fabulous idea – and off we went to shop our catalog, choosing items for someone in another country. At first they were disappointed that we couldn’t send it to the child we sponsor through World Vision, but quickly got over that when we discussed how MANY people don’t have simple things like clean water to drink or a bed to sleep in. It’s sometimes hard for even ME to realize what that looks and feels like.
Normally we don’t talk much about giving. It’s because of the convictions we have on Matthew 6:3. We think when we feel called to do something – God knows, and He is the only one that needs to know. So when we do things to serve others, we just make a choice and a point to NOT bring it up – especially to others it doesn’t deal with directly. [It’s actually fun to keep it a total secret if possible]. In the past, it was really easy to get into the habit of self promoting, or taking ownership in something God has done. You know the drill, someone says they took a meal to so-and-so, then YOU feel like you need to say that you ALSO did the same… or explain why you didn’t. Clearly, to me anyway, anything we’re able to do go, give or share – is because of His gifts. He’s the only one who has the right to keep score. He created us, for His purposes… Taking “credit” for that – to me, is not giving credit where it’s due, and our accountability is always to Him.
I felt that it would he safe to discuss a little bit of this here – because it doesn’t affect anyone you all might personally know… and you now know my heart on the issue – it’s not to say, “Look at me, I’m so great.” Because I realize, I am nothing without Him.
Since we were convicted of that particular verse – we have taken some heat sometimes. I think it’s easy to assume if you can’t SEE someone giving, and quantify it – then they must be selfish or not care about anyone but themselves. Some people want to KNOW we’ve been giving, and challenge us to prove it by questioning us, or offering suggestions on ways we could give. If there are things “like that” – where it’s a pressure situation, we make a POINT to not give in that way – but rather in another more discreet way. Above all, God knows – and that’s what matters. You are accountable to Him, and you need not worry about what others are doing – if you’re doing what you are being called and led to.
All of this said to help us refocus. Maybe you got off track this past month… with a busy schedule, and lack of meal planning. Maybe you indulged a bit too much at various parties or work or slacked off on the workouts or drinking the water you know your body needs. I pray you are able to give of yourself to God, as we close our 2011… and prepare for an exciting NEW YEAR. Think of what He wants for your body, soul and spirit and maybe write a few things down this week [during the picking up, putting away, and quiet time – quiet time? WHO has that?? You must MAKE IT!], some goals if you will. What could you give up this next year that isn’t helping you be healthy for Him? What could you make a step in His direction to increase your health benefits? I’m not talking about half-way resolutions that expire at the end of the month. I’m talking making changes that will help your lifestyle, things you can stick with for your lifetime… through His power and grace.
He has given so much. Give Him all of yourself.
“And He would answer and say to them, ‘The man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.’ “ – Luke 3:11