Tough Lessons for a Joyful Giver From the BARRINGTON CAMPUS*
“Take my life, I lay it down; all I have, I give to you. Here I stand, arms open wide. I am yours, and you are mine, Jesus.” —Hillsong United
I still hope that there will be some immediate reward for our obedience — maybe a big check will arrive in the mail or some unknown, rich relative will leave us a great inheritance or miraculously some of our bills will get paid off. But they
was taught as a child to give with a joyful heart, and from a
have not. Each month we are still not quite able to pay the
young age I set aside the first 10 percent of my income to
bills. And sometimes I have to check the pantry and the freezer
give back to God. Beginning with my allowance and into the
one more time to see what we can “whip up” for dinner.
early years of my marriage, I took joy in tithing. Sadly, though, time revealed drastic changes in both my attitude and self-discipline. Just five years into my marriage, we began experiencing job troubles. I switched careers several times and eventually worked two part-time jobs. My husband lost his job twice and began helping out in a family business to make ends meet. Somewhere in all of this, I lost my passion and priority for tithing. We still gave occasionally at Christmas and to special causes, but I got out of the habit of giving a tithe and giving it first. At times my spirit would be convicted, and I would want to start tithing again, but instead I would
“Six months ago, we buckled down. We decided to have our tithe come out automatically after each paycheck is deposited. This way, we give to God first.”
pay a bill, buy a gift — anything would take priority over tithing. I kept justifying and making excuses saying, “When we get a muchdeserved raise ...” or “When we are able to pay down some bills ...” Then, I thought, we’ll be able to tithe again. But that day didn’t come, and my heart weighed heavy with the fact that I wasn’t being obedient. Then, six months ago, we buckled down. I was
However, I am learning that joy can come from practicing the discipline of giving. I have been tempted to “take a break” from tithing, to pay some bills or be able to do something extra for the family. Instead, I ask people close to me for accountability. I want to be a joyful giver. So here I am, arms open wide. All I am, all I have, I give it all to you, Lord!
convicted by something Scott Chapman challenged us with, and the song by Hillsong United kept running through my head. We decided to have our tithe come out automatically after each paycheck is deposited. This way, we give to God first.
* EDITOR’S NOTE: These are real stories from people at The Chapel who wished to remain anonymous.
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