Monday, August 10, 2009
last night I had an in depth conversation about money with my dad, your Pop Pop. The entire story must be prefaced with the fact that my dad taught me an important lesson about money my senior year of High School. Pop Pop had been out of work for a while due to his carpel tunnel syndrome. He had two consecutive surgeries on each hand, and the recovery was long. I knew that finances were tight, but on New Year's eve of 1995 I witnessed your Pop Pop give a considerable amount of money towards his tithe at church. That moment, and it was just a few seconds, has stuck with me for well over 14 years, and it has shaped my perspective of money.
Money isn't everything. I have watched my parent's live modestly for years while their family members and friends have enjoyed considerable financial success. My dad still counts himself as a blessed man because he has a relationship with Jesus, and four children who love God as well.
All money is God's money. This year I had a financial goal that I set to obtain a certain amount in our saving's account. I just can't seem to reach that goal. Each month your dad and I give our tithe to God, as well as the missions efforts of our friends, and the building program at our church. There are parts of my heart (the icky parts) that hesitant when I write out each check. Sometimes I think , "Well, now we are never going to reach our savings goal". This certain amount in our savings would give me a supposed sense of security and accomplishment. It would make me feel validated, and give me a peace. Please understand that there is nothing wrong with saving money..in fact, if we are going to be like the Ant in Proverbs 30, we are to save and plan for our future. But, I am realizing that the best savings plan I can come up with is to give my money to God. The best investment I can ever make is to give my money to God to use. The most secure safety net I can have is to give to God before I give to myself, and to you.
I can give you story after story about how God has blessed us and provided for us (when Parker was born and I quit my job, we had nothing, yet we tithed. At the end of the year through our church congregation, we received a love offering that was over the amount that we tithed. Then once we gave up getting cable so we could support missions instead, and within the month God had laid it on someone's heart to buy us cable as a gift,and they didn't even know about the sacrifice we made. Then God laid it on another person's heart to send us a random check that enabled us to pay off our car loan), yet I'm not going to lie and tell you that there isn't still a fear in me when I give in the offering. God has never disappointed me, and I have never been in need. God is dealing with me on giving with an unreserved heart, and I hope to instill that in you. If we have a roof over our head, food on our table, and love for each other and the world, that has to be enough. I am trying to have an increased faith in God, and a decreased faith in money. It's a lesson I hope to learn, and then pass down to you.
In this time of economic uncertainty, it is easy to be tempted to hold on to all of your money, and to cling tightly to your assets. I'm learning that money isn't as much as an asset as God's provision, and that God's bank is the most dependable place for my money to be.