This week in Navigating Your Finances God's Ways -- we examined the 4 elements of giving:
My discovery here was simple and was eluded to in the last week's post. I have no trouble giving money. I think it is a wonderful gift to be able to share with others. I do need to be weary of my motives - the whole don't let your left hand see what your right hand is doing. My trouble honestly is not in my generosity with treasure but with time and talent. Although, I have also learned that my monetary generosity needs to be budgeted and that 'giving from your poverty' does not mean going into credit card debt. My attitude needs some tweaking as I consider how I will share my time. I am very stingy with my time. Perhaps this is best explained by sharing that I am an extrovert with introverted tendencies; meaning I love being with people and I especially love sharing the Good News but I equally enjoy the solitude of writing and study. It is all about balance - that is probably the GREATEST lesson Navigating Your Finances has taught me thus far.
Advantages of Giving
Interestingly in this section the advantages or blessings discussed were to those of the giver; as the Jon and Evelyn Bean point out - the benefits to the recipient are usually obvious. The Bean's deftly use God's word to show so many blessings that come from being generous - sharing in the Master's joy, increased riches in heaven, an outpouring of God's blessings back upon us, and so so much more!!
God wants for nothing - so every thing we offer to Him or to others in His name is blessed, multiplied, and graced by His love and showered back on us. Wow!! That is quite an advantage to giving.
Are the weddings you attend so far and few between, that you always have to inquire from your more hip friends or relatives as to the going rate for a wedding gift? Maybe I am the only one. My family was never a very sophisticated lot, I remember attending only one wedding growing up - my aunt's. I wore the most AMAZING PURPLE flowered dress with a big purple satin ribbon, but I digress. In the same way, I never learned the ins and outs of wedding gift giving; I never learned about responsible sharing of my wealth (that term is used super loosely here). This is where I really had to contemplate the availability and affordability of my time, treasure and talent. It was here during my reflection I asked myself if it was possible for me to be a Good Samaritan and a Good Steward. Of course the answer is yes, and furthermore I am convinced that the more I offer of myself - the more God will multiply what I have available to offer.
Approach to Giving
For this final element regarding generous giving - the Bean's call us to contemplate St. Paul's words to the Corinthians with regard to a collection he was proposing be taken for the suffering in Jerusalem:
"On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that contributions need not be made when I come."
Then I absolutely LOVED how they pulled apart each PIECE of this verse to help us show how each of us should approach giving -- frequently, personally, from our savings not our credit, prioritized and with thought, and with humility. Once again as I soak in St. Paul's words I am convicted of missing so many of these points in my own giving. Scriptural convictions are good though - despite how I USED to view them, I have come to recognize the Word of God as never intending to make me feel shamed or guilty. Biblical teaching should perpetuate a change in our hearts and that conversion should lead to action - an outward change in our attitude and more importantly, our behavior.
Without a doubt ... every week the abundant and generous teachings of Compass Catholic's Navigating Your Finances God's Way is stretching my super narrow focus on my money - or lack there of -- to a broader understanding. Next week we are looking at WORK ... I can not WAIT to see what God has in store !
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