It's been awhile since I've posted on this blog. Lately it's been more interesting reading what has been written between Heather, Midnight Cafe and Jess. But I was reading a blog by a very dear friend Diana. She has a lovely, thought provoking blog called extra grace required, and by all means go and check it out. Recently she was able to hear Shane Claiborne speak. If you don't know who that is, I would highly recommend you check him and his ministry out. He wrote a book called The Irresistible Revolution : Living as an Ordinary Radical. This book will really make you think about serving, giving and living radically.
Diana said that one thing that stood out to her was something Shane said:
"The best thing to do with the best things in life is to give them away."
That also resonated with me for a number of reasons.
Lately I have been thinking about giving.
Does giving just mean tithing? Or can we give in other ways too?
Tithing is a touchy subject because there are so many different view on tithing.
Generally if you belong to a specific church you tithe to that church. But what if, like me, you do not belong to a church? What if you don't know to who or what you should give to.
And can you tithe in other ways besides giving money?
What if you give money but you can only tithe five percent or what if you can only tithe one percent of your income?
Okay so we do know this:
2 Corinthians 9:7Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. NIV.
First of all, it should be from your heart, and with a joyful willingness.
Luke 21:2-4 NIV
2He [Jesus] also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 3"I tell you the truth," he said, "this poor widow has put in more than all the others. 4All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on."
Then we see God honors those who give even when they have nothing to give. Ten percent or not. Give what you got.
Micah 6:6 & 8 NIV
6 With what shall I come before the LORD and bow down before the exalted God? Shall I come before him with burnt offerings, with calves a year old?
8 He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.
I am a firm believer that the Lord always looks at the heart and motives of people.
I suppose I could give all the money in the world to God, but if i was just doing it to receive praise from others, I really don't think the Lord would be impressed.
I guess what I am trying to get at is this:
Give what you can, with a cheerful heart, and with a willingness to give even when it's tough.
It may not always be with money.
I don't have a lot of money to give but these are things I do have:
hands to make a meal for someone who is hungry
time to visit someone who is lonely
clothes that I rarely wear that someone else may need
a house to open its doors to someone who needs shelter
a car to drive someone who needs to go somewhere important
Yes, I will still give money when I can. But I also have a lot of other ways to give as well.
Give my best away by giving the best of me.
The Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.