Anyone else tired of the hearing the same old message this time of year at Church? Stewardship campaigns usually start now and we will hear something about giving spoken each Sunday during worship. The talks will be about pledging our tithe and maybe increasing our offerings and tithes over the next several weeks. I will hear about it at our church, and you probably will hear about it at yours.
I have even been asked to speak on Stewardship during this season a couple years ago. I talked about how when I was going through a process to eliminate my own debt, that I wasn’t gaining real traction until I started to incorporate tithing into my personal financial plan. Blah blah blah… we’ve all heard it before, tithing ten percent is God’s plan for us to develop a character and an attitude about the money we earn and how to use it responsibly as He has designed…
Again, Blah blah and BLAH! I’m sure you don’t want to hear the same old story from me again. I wasn’t asked to speak this year, and that is fine.
I did enjoy a heartfelt speech from Mr. Wade Hepner. He used his stewardship speech opportunity to show us in detail, how our church and especially our Pastor Tim Soule has helped guide and support his spiritual walk through the darkest and toughest shadowy valleys of death. Man, I hear ya bro. Thank you for sharing. Thank you for being so real. THANKS for not forcing us to listen to another textbook example of the definition of a tithe and some lukewarm encouragement to give…
I will use my mini platform here to share an idea that came to me during some recent mentions of stewardship…
IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW MUCH I GIVE!!!!!
In my personal opinion, in my personal experience, in truth I want to tell you something I have exercised and profoundly come to expect.
IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW MUCH I GIVE!!!!
Up until maybe five years or so ago, I had never even considered giving as something I would regularly do. I didn’t see it as something important. I did spend a lot of my own money in ways that lots of people could enjoy, but I didn’t really give it away for others to do with as they wished.
Now I do tithe ten percent, as accurately as my wife and I can figure. If more comes in, we give more. We do tithe to the church we attend, but I don’t believe that has to be the way everyone does it.
Again, I have noticed that IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW MUCH I GIVE!
Along with our tithe we do try support other little fundraising things that are going on with people we know. If the Youth Group is doing something to help pay for their mission trip, we want to participate. If your kid is selling something in order that their team or their class or their group can do their work better, we want to give to that as well. I don’t want to buy their catalog items, but I do want to give to them, cash money.
Again, IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW MUCH I GIVE!
If we are out in public and a waiter or waitress or carhop or hostess is serving us, we want to give a tip that is nice every time we are in that situation. Every time we can, we want to give a slightly unexpected amount. It doesn’t always have to be $100, but how fun would that be? Yeah!
Again, I seem to be noticing always that IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW MUCH I GIVE!
If I am in line at the store, and someone is having trouble getting their card to run, or they are waiting next to me to pay, I like to go ahead and buy their snacks or drinks, or maybe gas too. I haven’t done the gas thing recently, but I would like to.
In case you haven’t heard me, IT DOESN’T MATTER how much I GIVE.
I am lucky that my wife smiles and says ‘That’s nice’ when I tell her that I have done one of these little things in the day. I want her to know where OUR money has gone. We pool it all, there is no hers or mine. So, when I give our money to someone or something, I am using OUR dollars to do it. I make that call, and she supports it. I am one LUCKY man.
She must also understand at a very deep level that, IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW MUCH WE GIVE.
The funny thing is that, even just a year ago, we didn’t have much money to give. I had messed up my income stream and was struggling and only had my debt freedom as anything positive in our financial world. Income was low, lifestyle was minimal. Now we have more than enough. We did give back then too though. We tithed that ten percent. We gave enjoyed the way it felt to give when we had little. It feels even better then, when it is a bigger piece of the little pie.
We at one point asked prayers for our careers and in some ways, even twisted and ironic ways, those prayers have been answered 🙂
I do have a punchline for my repetitive quote about how it doesn’t matter how much we give…
When I am using my money, my cup to pour out and help fill the cup of another, I find that mine never goes empty. It just doesn’t. If I take stock and look at our numbers in our account, I find that more and more is in there, even though I give more than I ever have in my whole life. It is very strange. I find it fascinating. I don’t believe it sometimes. I think I should end up with less, the more I give away. Although counter-intuitive, it just seems to be soooo true.
It just doesn’t matter how much I give, because I can never outgive God. I can never expend more than he can replenish and re-bless me with. I cannot in all my mighty mouse little power, begin to let go of something that God can’t resupply. I don’t want to do this in order that I test him, or in order that I ‘get’ something that want to come to me. I don’t need to see God prove anything or even to prove to you, that this is true.
It does however seem to work, every single time, no matter what.
I just have not been able to outgive God. It’s like the reverse of casino gambling. If I am betting against the house, they always win in the long run. If I am betting, not with my own money, but with God’s blessings backing me up, I cannot lose.
There is my stewardship message in a nutshell. IT DOESN’T MATTER HOW MUCH YOU GIVE. YOU CAN NEVER OUTGIVE GOD.
Have fun everyone. Enjoy being the blesser. Share with a light heart and you’ll find that you get more back than you ever gave out. Try it today 🙂