Free Newsletters

on LeadershipJournal.net

« Trick-or-Treat? | Main | An Election-Day Letter from a Post-Church Refugee »

November 3, 2008

Two of Me



In 2 Corinthians 9:7 Paul says we should give what we decide in our hearts to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, because God loves a cheerful giver. This verse is often applied to financial giving, but I believe it applies to any resource we give away - our time, or energy, or skills. I recognized that during a season of over-extension, most of my "gives" had been reluctant or under compulsion. I felt I had to help, had to serve, or had to solve the problem. But when we attempt to give what we do not have, we cross a boundary. We trespass into joylessness.

God loves a cheerful giver, but that does not mean we should give what we do not possess to gain his approval or anyone else's. It does mean, when the balance on our account is in the black, and we write the check, or make the phone call, or lead the team, God gets a kick out of it. We need to minister "in the black" so we have something to give. Giving "in the red," giving what we do not possess, means we are living in duplicity. We are not loving God or others authentically because we're not being honest.

When an opportunity to give (time, money, service, etc.) arises, practicing simplicity means starting with self-examination. "Do I have it in my heart to give?" If that answer is "no," then it is not a clean give. Something else, something duplicitous, is behind the motivation to say "yes." Most often fear is the culprit - the fear of not appea
God loves a cheerful giver, but that does not mean we should give what we do not possess to gain his approval or anyone else's. It does mean, when the balance on our account is in the black, and we write the check, or make the phone call, or lead the team, God gets a kick out of it. We need to minister "in the black" so we have something to give. Giving "in the red," giving what we do not possess, means we are living in duplicity. We are not loving God or others authentically because we're not being honest.

When an opportunity to give (time, money, service, etc.) arises, practicing simplicity means starting with self-examination. "Do I have it in my heart to give?" If that answer is "no," then it is not a clean give. Something else, something duplicitous, is behind the motivation to say "yes." Most often fear is the culprit - the fear of not appearing in control, the fear of not pleasing someone, or the fear of not being accepted. Sometimes our Christian guilt can interfere. For example, at times we know we should say "yes" (such as, do I have it in my heart to care for the poor today?), but our strong answer is "no." In such cases I've determined to honestly face my "no" and then let God do a new thing in me rather than function in duplicity.

Some people ascribe to the "fake it till you make it" approach. But this is a dangerous path. It leads quickly to duplicity. I'd rather recognize the selfishness in my soul and bring that honestly to God. In my experience, God won't leave my selfishness untouched for long, and when it changes, the transformation is real.ring in control, the fear of not pleasing someone, or the fear of not being accepted. Sometimes our Christian guilt can interfere. For example, at times we know we should say "yes" (such as, do I have it in my heart to care for the poor today?), but our strong answer is "no." In such cases I've determined to honestly face my "no" and then let God do a new thing in me rather than function in duplicity.

Some people ascribe to the "fake it till you make it" approach. But this is a dangerous path. It leads quickly to duplicity. I'd rather recognize the selfishness in my soul and bring that honestly to God. In my experience, God won't leave my selfishness untouched for long, and when it changes, the transformation is real.

To finish this free article, click here.

Boundaries.jpg
Excerpted from Boundaries, a new downloadable resource from Gifted for Leadership.

Comments

Agree that God loves a Cheerful Giver! For an easy way to become one visit www.cheerfulgivers.org

great article. too many of us give or "do". out of guilt, shoulds, and/or people pleasing. which is just wood, hay, stubble. better, as you have said, to face ourselves when we want and/or need to say no and take it all to God. thanks again.

Post a comment:





Verification (needed to reduce spam):

Tags

see more

resources