Sometimes I am minding my own business when somebody comes along and turns up the heat. They tell me something that I can't face or maybe don't want to face. I was doing just fine, doing things the way that I have always done them, but what they tell me is so convicting that the spotlight of guilt and shame is focussed straight at me. I cannot escape the light no matter which way I turn or try to escape. However, the truth is that this is exactly what I need. When we pray to God to reveal to us the areas in our lives where we need to direct attention, do not be surprised when your prayers are answered. It's vital that you find a way to come to grips with what you learn and address the affliction to the best of your ability.
This week I have been called out in an area that I have historically been reluctant to think about. The ultimate reason is that I am inherently selfish and inwardly focussed. I have limits to my boundaries of trust. I am talking about the idea of giving away my "hard-earned" money, giving what I have for the betterment of others in the body and, ultimately, to honor God. God tells us to Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops. (Proverbs 3:9). This means that we are to give the best of what we have, not the leftovers, to take care of others before we take care of ourselves. The money that we receive for our labors should first be considered from the standpoint of sharing it with those in need (Ephesians 4:28). Talk about convicting scripture. How many of you think about others first with your paychecks? How many of you think about giving from the standpoint of fitting within your budget, after all other bills and accounts are settled? How many out there seriously considering tithing? I can honestly state that I have never been generous with my money in this area. In fact, only in the last year have I even made an effort. I now give more than I ever have, and I give with a glad heart that I know pleases the Lord. However, there is so much more that I know I could do, but loosening the chains is so scary. I still feel that it is my responsibility to take care of my family first. I have made a solemn oath to ensure that they are taken care of. How can I square this away with what scripture is telling me? I close with some words that, at least, can be used as a starting point for letting go.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. (Luke 6:38)