I enjoy giving. I really do. Especially when the person has a need and it’s not a gift of excess. But lately, God has challenged me in the way I give.
For some reason, even when I give, there are occasions when it will come back to haunt me. Usually not immediately, but more of a down the road thing. Months later and I want to buy something but know that now is not the time to spend, and “if only I hadn’t given…” then the money would be there now.
This is such a selfish way to give, isn’t it?!?
About 90% of the time, I give with a cheerful and happy heart – excited about the joy or hope it might bring to a person who needs it. But then there’s the other 10% – the times where I think of the latest gadget I could be buying for the hubs or an upgrade on home furnishings.
This holiday season, we had the opportunity to give gifts to a family who is struggling this year. And while I helped Landon pick some things out in the toy section, I felt myself steering him towards the less expensive toys. Away from the $20 dolls and $40 scooters. I didn’t want him to choose things that would go overboard and take too much away from ‘our family Christmas budget’.
Even though we don’t NEED the things we all have on our Christmas list, I still wanted margin when it came time for me to do my holiday shopping. I wanted to keep a big chunk for our holiday cheer.
Here I am trying to teach my son what Christmas is really about – about giving to others and sharing the story of Jesus and what a special gift He is – and yet all of the lavish gifts Landon wanted to select for kids he doesn’t even know, were quickly nixed by mom and put back on the shelves. Wouldn’t I have done more to teach him by letting him spend more of our budget on gifts for others? What are my words to him if my actions don’t show a true spirit of giving?
As God put this on my heart, He reminded me of the story of the rich men who gave a percentage of their large fortune in the tithe box and then woman who gave only 2 coins. It wasn’t much but it was ALL (100%) of the money she had. What a blessing that she gave not out of the excess but out of sacrifice.
What an unselfish heart, giving until there was nothing left. I want to have that generosity – to share with others in need – no matter my wants. To have no regrets about giving it away. To have a truly selfless heart, instead of a selfish shoulda-woulda-coulda heart. I’m thankful that especially during this season, God reminds me who I want to be and nudges me to do better.