Wednesday, November 12, 2008

A Big, Fat, Deep Thought Thursday

I've never had any lofty goals for this blog. I just wanted to write interesting things that people enjoyed. I wanted to update my family and friends on our lives. I wanted to share things that were on my mind.

But today I want to get a little deeper. I have to share some things on my heart.

I've always struggled with giving. As a Christian, I knew that wasn't cool. I mean, giving is what Christ was all about. He talked about it constantly. So, I would give because I knew I was supposed to, but for most of my life, I did it with a little sigh, quietly sad that I couldn't keep it.

Then I read this book recommended to me by a friend. God spoke clearly to me about His desire to see me give generously, cheerfully, anonymously -- on a regular basis, not just once in awhile. I won't share here the specifics of what happened next, but I can't tell you how freeing and joyous it felt to obey Him and let go.

Quoting the author from the last chapter: "I wrote this book because much of our talk doesn't match our lives. We say things like, I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me and Trust the Lord with all your heart and then we live and plan like we don't belive God even exists. We try to set our lives up so everything will be fine even if God doesn't come through. But true faith means holding nothing back. It means putting every hope in God's fidelity to His promises."

And I loved this next paragraph, "A friend of mine said Christians are like manure: spread them out and they make everything grow better, but keep them in one big pile and they stink horribly. Which are you? The kind that reeks, around which people walk a wide swath? Or the kind that trusts God enough to let Him spread you out--whether that means going outside your normal group or Christian friends, increasing your material giving, or using your time to serve others?"

And I had to admit, I stunk. I'd become lukewarm and I hated it. I forget too often that my best life comes LATER. Not on this earth. Nothing matters here except for living and giving for HIM.

So I prayed a scary prayer. I prayed God would do whatever it took to "light a fire under me." I asked for hard things that would push me out of my cushy little American Christian life. And He started small, thankfully, but I'm excited about what He will do next.


Holly said...

That book sounds good! I'm gonna have to look into it :) And, I TOTALLY agree w/the manure quote.

Erin Haley said...

I think I'm learning the same things, only in a different way. I'm getting to the point where I don't even want this "Christian" American lifestyle, for the simple reason that I get lazy and apathetic in it. Who says we need 401k's and airtight insurance companies who will supply our every need, new cars that drive so nice as we go down the road to the fast food place, etc. Its hard to get out of the mindset of stacking up a defense wall in case God doesn't come through. If He did, would we even notice? Are we even looking for Him?

Jeannie said...

exactly...Our churches don't preach this least most churches.

The Kuehl's said...

Wow! I am going to have to look into that book, it sounds amazing! My problem with giving is not that I don't want to give, it's that sometimes we just don't have enough (monetarily or with time) to give (total wrong way of thinking)....although my husband is a strong man in giving to God first!

As we come upon the Christmas season, this really hits home...I LOVE BUYING and GIVING GIFTS...but as a Christian, looking back at my life B.C. I think I was giving for the wrong reasons...I loved seeing the look on peoples faces when they opened MY gift...I was giving to get the appreciation/thanks/compliments FROM THEM.

Thanks for sharing this with us, it really helped to open my eyes on my own struggles with giving!