Give Cheerfully? Freal?

In response to the recent post Trusting God With Our Money, Katie left the comment below:

I’m hearing ya on #1 & #2 but to be transparent it is sometimes hard to be cheerful about it. I am happy to be giving back to God what is his. I’ve been sitting here looking at the word cheerful and trying to think if that’s how I am feeling. Maybe I need to be praying about that cheerful thing :)

This seemed like it was postworthy, rather than just responding in the Comments section.

Katie, thanks for your honesty!  I totally hear ya on that one.  It’s definitely not natural or easy to give cheerfully, so I don’t have any quick or easy answers for you. I’ve been there myself… and often return there.

But I can tell you how it works for me.  Whenever I give my tithe, I remind myself that it represents just a fraction of what God has provided for me.  I also remind myself that God is going to use the money to do the things that are important to Him.  Finally, I’m convinced that God can do a whole lot more good with the money than I ever could!  It’s also helpful to keep in mind that money we give to God’s church and ministries has eternal value.

When I give money that’s not my tithe, it helps me to be cheerful about it by thinking about what it will mean to whoever it is I’m giving it to.  If it’s someone who’s struggling financially, it will remind them that God provides for them.  If it’s just a gift for someone to enjoy, it’s helpful to keep in mind what a blessing it’s been when I’ve been on the receiving end, and knowing that the other person/people will get to have the same enjoyment.

One more thing: for me, part of the joy of giving, part of what helps me to be cheerful about it, is knowing that giving regularly brings freedom.  I don’t have to worry about money and I don’t have to be enslaved to it, because when I give regularly, the chains of materialism and greed can’t keep their hold on me.  I enjoy that freedom!  I also enjoy knowing that I’m entering into one of God’s promises, that when I trust Him, He’ll take care of the details and He’ll provide for me.

Hopefully that doesn’t sound like a bunch of Christianese, because it’s not.  It’s personal experience.  Like I said, it doesn’t come naturally or easily, but it’s a work of the heart that God is eager to do.

By the way, Katie, on a personal note: I’ve often seen you give cheerfully!  When you’ve made food for small group, had people over to eat and shoot skeet, or more recently, when you took pictures of Laura Marie for us, you’ve seemed pretty cheerful about it!  It’s not just forking over the green that counts as giving.  All these other things are ways of giving.  So don’t be too hard on yourself. 🙂

Published in: on April 22, 2010 at 10:04 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I’m so glad to see such an in depth response because I have been praying about this and God has been really been convicting me this week.. and I’m realizing that I’m not being cheerful when I’m giving my weekly tithe. It kinda made me laugh to see it on here. It’s like you wrote down everything God had been telling me all week.

    Giving money that’s not your tithe for example. When you say it helps you be cheerful when you think about the person you’re giving it to. When I hear about a family in need or a mission, etc. I can’t wait to help out. I don’t know what it is.. maybe it’s because it’s more “fun” to know exactly who and where it’s going to.

    But, I’ma listen to you cus you’re smart and stuff. And, Laura Marie and so cute. I don’t know how you resist the urge to grab her cheeks all the time and smoosh them!! She looks so much like your adorable wifey until she makes a face and then her expressions look just like you! She was cracking me up with her big cheese scowly grin.

  2. Thanks for your comments, Katie! And by the way, I don’t “resist the urge to grab her cheeks all the time and smoosh them.” That’s one of my primary activities in life.

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