Thursday, June 4, 2009

Oh NO! She's Thinking Again!

Before I start this, I want to make sure that this post isn't taken wrongly as something where I am talking to you via talking about myself. I realize that this post could be taken wrongly if I do not take care in being honest about where my mind is right now and what my true intentions are with this post.

For those that are new, and I suppose as a refresher for those that have been around for awhile, I want to bring two posts to attention that will support these claims. And really, I would hope that it is clear just by the fact that I am so concerned about the way you might interpret this post...I am just sharing what is going on in my heart.

The first post is this very long one about how God provided our car for us, which links to this very short one where I was very vague and cryptic as I like to be sometimes =). These are just to tell you, or remind you that God has been working on my heart in the area of generosity for quite some time now. Our family is in a place where we are receiving quite a bit right now, but I want you to know two things about that. Number one- just because we are on the receiving end and in need of something does not mean that God doesn't still ask us to give elsewhere. In fact, He is still calling us to give more. Number two- I have hesitated to write this post at this time because I didn't want anyone to take it as a way of indirectly soliciting donations. God is providing in great ways and our hope is in HIM, not in you. No offense, but that's the truth. He does use His people (like the ways that He is wanting us to give and recognize that all we have already belongs to Him anyway), but the glory from that sharing should go to Him...not the one who wrote the check.

So, the point of all that long clarification that was far longer than what I am going to say is that I was thinking. Just thinking about myself and my selfishness. How self centered is that! HA! Anyway, I came across this blog that was talking a little bit about giving to a particular ministry and how great their need was. Lets just say it dealt with starving mothers and children. You know what my first thought was? It was pretty normal, and actually something that might be thought of as good at first glance. But that's why we have that special gift called the Spirit of God living inside these bodies, right? So that we bounce our thoughts off of the mind of Christ and not focus on what is good to anyone else. That first thought was, "I should go and check my bank account to see what I can give."

What's wrong with that? Well, I am not saying it is bad to check your bank account before spending. It would be irresponsible not to check before spending any money. I just had an internal realization at that moment, that's all. I realized that when I am at the store and I think about how my daughter needs some summer clothes since she only has two hot weather bottoms and it's been really hot, I don't think about it. I just pick up a couple of things, even if they are only $3 or $4 shorts. I still grab a couple.

Or how often do I drive down the road and think, "I could really use some coffee today." or, "I don't have anything for lunch and we are running very late, lets get something from Taco Bell."

Are those things in my budget? Nope. Are they a need? Sometimes. Is feeding starving people a need? Yes it is. More important than my daughter having more than two pairs of shorts.

An easy rationalization is that I can't save them. That's true, but if all of us gave according to our ability then it would add up. And it's easy for me to forget how stinking good I have it. I compare to people around me and forget to compare to the rest of the world. They are God's kids too. If someone in my church was going hungry, you better believe that we would take care of them. (Small churches are good at taking care of each other by the way. At least, ours is.) That reminds me that I have been reading in 2nd Corinthians and it talks about generosity somewhere near the 8th chapter. You will have to look around there because I am not good at remembering details right now, but there is some talk of supporting each other so that those that have plenty do not have too much and those that have little do not go without. Check it out. I am pretty sure that you could bet on the fact that God didn't give me plenty so that I could hoard it.

My point is that I realize that if I have enough room in my budget to get those little extras from time to time, should it really be going somewhere that it's needed instead? Just me thinking...

Now I have to figure out where that line is drawn, or if you even can give too much. Is that even possible?


Mom said...

I think you absolutely can give too much, especially time. If you are giving too much time to outside-the-family activities, even if they are a worthy cause, and you neglect your family as a result, you are giving too much.

Also if you are giving for the wrong reason, say, for recognition or to quell some guilt you may have, then you are missing out on what giving is really about. Which is not really about amount but intent. I guess in a case like that it may never be enough.

If you give a "Widow's mite" with true love and generosity it is a gift of value and God will make it enough.

Just my two cent's worth.

Vicky said...

So, I read your post first, and it stuck in my head... and then I read this post over at The Journey: in which Katie points out that Lazarus still died eventually, the people who were healed got sick again, and those Jesus fed were hungry again... "More important than the very obvious Might and Power shown by Jesus's miracles is His LOVE."

Giving of our money, skills, time, etc is important... but as your mom points out, it's our heart in giving that is most important to God. We can NEVER give enough LOVE. Nor will we ever run short on Love as long as we are continually tapping in to the source of Love (God).

I realize that's not really what you were talking about or asking, but it's what I got out of reading these two posts back-to-back.

Jenilee said...

I didn't get a chance to comment on this post but I love the way you think.

Can we do it all for everyone? no
But can we try? yes
Can we give too much? maybe

But, I think the fact that you are even thinking this way and asking these questions says your heart is in the right place.

I know God will point out areas where we are living in access and help us trim back where need be. Sometimes stepping out in faith in our giving is what God is asking for. Sometimes giving isn't rational, we give and we see God provide.

I like what your mom said about time, because I think that is true as well. As moms, who is our first priority? The family God has given us. Are our husband and children being negatively affected by what we are doing?

So, when are we sitting down for coffee?? :) or should I say coffee frosty??