A long time ago, long long long (long) time ago, I was sitting in a church service and my pastor was talking about giving. I prayed a silent prayer that God would make me a giver.
I didn’t do anything different, but after a few weeks I felt like God told me to double my tithe and give the extra amount to a certain department in my church. I started doing that and after a while I decided to give the same amount to a different department in my church. It was getting close to Christmas and the pizza place I was working at was selling those paper lightbulbs that you buy and they write your name on it and give the money to help sick kids. I started spending all of my tips on those (I was a cook so I got tips, but not a ton), and I decided that anytime I was somewhere else and they asked me to buy one of those, I would. Then a little after that I decided to give the same amount of money I was giving to the other departments at my church to a certain missionary that I knew.
If you’re keeping track, that’s 10% of my check as tithe, 30% to various church ministries, and all of my tips and more to sick kids and stuff like that through those paper things. So I’m pushing 50% of my income that I’m giving away (Tithing isn’t giving money away, but for the sake of argument…). I even threw some money into the salvation army buckets.
God made me giver. I didn’t give out of obligation, I didn’t feel like God had told me to give any more than to that first department, I just loved to give. It felt good.
But as time went on, I sort of fell away from God. I started thinking things that weren’t right and I doubted some stuff. I slowly stopped giving as much. I even had a friend who knew how much I had been giving and how much I was giving at that point ask me about it and basically told me it was dumb. I shrugged her off. I never stopped tithing, but I lost my love of giving.
I did some stupid stuff. And then things got better. (There was a lot of time between those two sentences, but that doesn’t matter for what we’re talking about) But it’s not like I immediately started giving almost 50% of my income away because things were going well again. I had a wife and kids now. I have to make sure they have food and a place to live.
But my wife and I both feel like we want to be givers. We have been tithing but we felt like we want to be givers. We prayed that God would make us givers. We’re not giving 40% of our income away, but we are giving. We give to the Pregnancy Center, we give to some missionaries that we love, we give some money to theDove, we started doing some giveaways on our Facebook page and we just decided to give some money to our church’s youth group for their golf tournament. We don’t make a lot of money so we go to our church’s food pantry sometimes and every time we do we talk about how we might be able to donate something to them. We don’t give a ton right now, but we want to give more.
I want to be the person who drops off a couple bags of food at someone’s house when they aren’t doing good. I want to be the person who writes a check so that my church can build a new addition onto the building. I want to send kids to camp when they can’t afford it. I want to go to Africa and see a building that was built with money I sent. I want to hand a ministry a check, smile and walk away before they can open it. I want to give my pastor some cash and ask that he gets it to another member of our church and make sure they don’t know it’s from me. I want to buy three of four vacuums and drop them off at the church when no one is around. I want to be the white man with a checkbook that helps a tiny church on the other side of the world buy a van or build a building. I want my money to work more for others than it could ever work for me. I want to give. I want to give more than I should be able to give.
God, make me more of a giver. Give me the heart and the resource to give more and to help others.