Last weekend a long time friend of mine visited Lori and me. We have been friends for about 20 years. We don't see each other that often, so even though it seems like we haven't been a part at all, there is always a ton of "catching up" to do. This trip was no exception. He had started up a business a few years ago after many years of trying to figure out what to do. He and his wife had just bought a new puppy and so we talked about all that goes into (and out of) puppies. He had never met our son, so there were introductions and stories about him and the hillarious things that he says on an almost daily basis.
Eventually, the subject turned to my job and what it was like leading a church. I shared many stories of the challenges and the fun of this type of occupation. After a while the conversation turned to "giving" (Dun Da Duhhhh) and how I felt about things like tithes and offerings in the church. Of course I told him that those were to talks that pastors just hate to give, but since Jesus talked many times about finances and their place in life, I probably can't avoid it (Can I get an AMEN if you're a pastor?). However, I have found a different way of looking at giving that helps it feel like less of a chore to me.
My desire is to be like the God whom Jesus perfectly revealed to us and that God is a generous God! If I want to be like that, how can I skimp on my giving.
I also believe that giving announces something important.
When I give, I am saying to myself, my bank, my family, my church and my God that I am not trusting in money for life, but in the God who provided everything I need through Jesus' life death and resurrection.
As we drove along there was a little bit of silence and I began to wonder if I had overstepped my bounds. But then my friend just sighed and said, "I agree with that and I have found that when I give, everything just seems to work…..better. I know it 's not a formula or anything, but when I am giving it seems that life just flows and there is less worry about finances."
The conversation changed after that, but as we continued our varied conversations throughout the weekend I kept sensing that we were both on to something there. When we are generous like Christ; when we live dependent upon Him instead of on money, there is a different peace that seems to settle on things. I know that I have experienced that "better" feeling that my friend talked about. My finances did not go up, my bills did not go down, but something was different. Maybe when we trust Jesus even with our finances, we find his words to be true
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. John 14:27
May you experience this peace as you learn to trust Jesus!