God is able to make ALL grace abound to you, so that with ALL sufficiency, in ALL things, at ALL times, you may abound in EVERY good work. ~2 Corinthians 9:8 {ESV}

Giving to God can be a tricky concept. It certainly was for us.

A few months after we stepped over the line of faith – young, excited, naïve, trusting, wide-eyed – I started working part time at a church helping the teachers in their Christian school. It was evident from the beginning that they needed to replace the bedraggled mimeograph machine (purple-inked, hand-cranked, leaky, smelly) with a more modern copier.

Xerox copiers had just been launched (yes this was decades ago!). Mammoth beasts of technology that spit out copies in mere minutes compared to the hours to mimeo (depending on the arm strength of the cranker!). The cost would be $4,000, an amount that was a lot for this little church.

My husband and I prayed about this even though we barely made much more than that in a year! But we prayed nonetheless. We prayed for someone to provide it, for someone whose riches were more generously provided than ours. We believed that someone would come through. We just did.

We didn’t know that someone would be us.

Two weeks later, my husband came home from work early because he had lost his job. And for his severance, he received – oh yes he did, drop the mic – a check for $4,000. We were 20-somethings, with not a nickel to our name. As enticing as it was to keep it all, we saw it as an answer to prayer, with a little added bonus for us! We gave the $4k to the church. (Full transparency – the check was for $4,100 and some change, so we filled our pantry and some left over for a movie! God is good!)

The one thing I left out of the story: the only way we would have been able to provide the funds for the copier was if my husband died (ala life insurance). Or he lost his job. Grace certainly abounded!

But that’s not when we learned the most about giving to God out of His provision. It happened a year later when the church split, and the copier (yes, our copier!) went with the ‘wrong’ side (if you catch my drift).

We learned, through our frustration, that we didn’t give to the church building, or to the Christian school, or to their leadership, or to either ‘side’ of the eventual discord. We gave back to God what was His, what He had provided to us.

Since then, we have applied this learning to every church we have attended. We tithe and we give to only One – to God. Our prayer is that it is used the way God would want it to be used.

We eventually learned that once given, we had to let it go. This helped so much in one church where financial reporting was not so transparent and one in which we disagreed with almost every spend! But if you are giving directly to God, no matter what name is on the check you write (or what online giving you sign into), none of that enters the equation.

Giving becomes a regrets-free, judgement-free way to honor God.

To close, I want to share what I read in a commentary awhile back. It clearly describes where my husband and I want to be, the frame of mind we want to have. We’re not there yet, but it’s a good goal, doncha think?

Give hilariously, for that makes God smile.

He lavishes all over us, then we lavish the world.

He pours all over us, then we pour it out all over the world.

And God smiles all over it!

How hilariously wonderful is that!?

 

Grace & Such strives to advance Christian growth among women. While we believe the Bible is the inspired Word of God, we also recognize human interpretations are imperfect. Grace & Such encourages our readers to open their Bibles, pray for wisdom and study for themselves what the Word says. For more about who we are, please visit the About Us page.
Diane Karchner
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3 Comments

  1. Beth Bingaman on January 15, 2020 at 8:04 AM

    Diane, While I agree that we should tithe and be generous with what God gives us, I think it is a place where we are called to judge what will happen with our offering. If we are to be good stewards of what God gives us, aren’t we responsible for how it is used? If we faithfully give to a church with leaders we trust, then we give and let it go. But if we know it is being misspent, shouldn’t we discerningly look for a place for our money where we know God will be honored and His Kingdom advanced with it?

    • Jen on January 25, 2020 at 11:45 AM

      Good point, Beth. I know in my own experience, there have been times when I didn’t necessarily agree with how the money was supposed to be allocated, but I fully trusted that the leaders were doing as God had led them because they had shown themselves to be trustworthy and searching out God’s will for the particular church. The opposite has been true as well. If I don’t trust the leaders, I shouldn’t trust them with God’s money OR my spiritual growth.

  2. Jen on January 25, 2020 at 11:40 AM

    Love the leap of faith you guys took! And this post is a great reminder that we aren’t to put conditions on God’s money. 🙂

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