Give Generously

I love money.  I do.  I love the shoes it buys me, the school it affords for my children and the comfortable feeling of a paycheck coming in every month. I am not rich but I am certainly not poor.  I am a spender.  Paul is a saver.  We are both givers  in our own ways.
Paul gives with his hands.  He is the craftsman.  He is the snow shoveler for our elderly neighbors.  He is the man drawing back the curtain during my children’s Winter Concert.  He believes and serves as if he is God’s hands.
I give money (ours, so technically he gives money too) and advocate with my words.  That’s how I roll.  When I see someone doing something good, I can’t help but talk about it.
I started this year with the goal of becoming a sacrificial giver.  Someone who gives until it hurts and then gives some more.  I have already donated more money than I have year to date, than last year but it didn’t hurt.  Less than 5% of my earnings go to charity.  The rest I spend on bills, coffee in coffee shops, shoes (oh, glorious shoes) and school tuition.  That is not a complete list or a rating system of my priorities.
I should mention that right before Christmas, Noel (Pastor at Riverview Church) gave a sermon on giving.  The hows, whys and what nots.  I was moved.  So much so that I emailed him a virtual high five.  I never do that.  Ever!
I want to give like that.  Why.  Because Jesus said so.  Because the example of how he loved makes me aspire to be like him.
After the service everyone who attended was given the gift of a book called Money – God or Gift by Jamie Munsonhttp://rcm.amazon.com/e/cm?t=m0bdd-20&o=1&p=8&l=bpl&asins=B00481JN6Y&fc1=000000&IS2=1&lt1=_blank&m=amazon&lc1=0000FF&bc1=000000&bg1=FFFFFF&f=ifr. He is one of the Pastors at a little church called Mars Hill that rocks the microphone…via podcast for me.
I approached the book haughtily.  I give.  I work for a non profit.  I donate things unused.  What could they teach me?
I am silly.
The first chapter of this $5 book has me wanting more sacrifice and less entitlement.  A sin I am so very guilty of.  See bad childhood which excuses me from ever having to sacrifice or generally suffer for the rest of my life.  Yeah, we all know that is not how life works.
I have not determined what that will look like for me.  I italicized and bolded so that you would know that I am talking about me.  It is personal and not a line in the sand.  I will be praying about this….let’s see what happens.
By the way, I am in no way unaware of my lessons in gratitude from One Thousand Gifts falling in perfect steps with this book.
Questions from chapter 1:
Which column (gratitude or greed) most accurately describes your life?  Where in your life are you prone to grumbling? What is your gut-level response to the call to giving?
Thoughts?

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