Recently I have been learning about giving. As someone who, for ten years now, has lived and worked relying entirely on the gifts of others, it’s easy to get a skewed perspective as a receiver. I have to say that since relocating to the UK in January 2012, things haven’t been easy and finances have been a little tight. Earlier in the year, I began to doubt if I was doing the right thing with my life, and I started to doubt God’s faithfulness. Then as you know from previous posts, I spent three weeks with God and friends. I still can’t fully articulate all that took place during that time. However I know that as I encountered God again, my heart opened and I trusted once more. Nothing had changed materially, but I knew (and know) that I trusted God and his faithfulness was beyond doubt.
That place of expansion and trust is like the polar opposite of self-protection and survival. Soon after my three weeks, I went through a time of almost being inundated with resource and provision, it was amazing! Previously I would have agonised in fear and anxiety over my future and what to do with the resource; self-protection and survival being my concern. But something had changed; I listened to my heart, God and the needs around and responded generously; then to my amazement more came in and I was able to respond to other needs. And so it continues.
It’s hard to describe the joy I had in giving. I know there’ll be all sorts of mixed motives in there, but I really did feel like a kid opening her presents on Christmas morning, even if I was the one who had done the giving. I was so excited! It really is way more blessed to give than to receive.
This whole experience has changed my attitudes and approach to praying, receiving and giving! My prayer now is that I will be enriched in every way so that I can always be generous, I don’t want to miss out on this joy of giving generously! I want to be a distributer of God’s unending resource; be it time, skill, a home, finance, food, whatever. I am so grateful for my supporters, as I consider those who have given financially and materially over the years, I no longer feel that twinge of guilt or shame at receiving from them. Rather I know that they are blessed way more in giving than I ever will be in receiving; and I pray that that they will know God’s blessing in every area of their lives, and that they would continue to know God’s generous and increasing provision so that they can continue to be generous distributers of God’s resource… and not just to me!!
As I continue on this journey of being a good steward of the resource that God has given me, I want to put into practice things I am learning about managing, planning and saving so I can be even more effective with the things God has placed in my care. However most of all I want to keep growing and learning how to be a generous, joyful giver.
Thanks to Mike and Cheryl Firth of OSCAR, the guys at Stewardship and Myles Wilson for his superb book ‘Funding the Family Business’.