Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Cheerful Giving

Growing up I never had an allowance. My siblings and I had an assigned allotment of chores, and, if we chose to do so, we could do extra chores for money.

When I entered high school, I didn't get the traditional waitressing or fast food job. I babysat for various church groups and taught riding lessons. I loved my jobs and was grateful for the creativity and flexibility they offered. But because I didn't have a set amount of hours, my income fluctuated. Some weeks I would make around a hundred dollars, others I was lucky to make ten.

My parents had always taught me to give 10% of my money back to God. However, the unsteadiness of my income made it difficult to tithe accurately. Most times I would roughly calculate the tithe in my head, always adding a few dollars to make sure I wasn't cheating God of His due. Gradually, my giving became less regular. I would give $20 or $30 here and there every few months, and a little extra at Christmas. My spending habits, though giving the impression of frugality, were unstable. For months I would scrimp and save every penny, then go on selfish spending splurges.

This past year, God convicted me of my avarice. I owe everything I have to God--my money, my time, and my life. I want to give cheerfully of all three. So I have committed to give 25% of my income to God. In addition, I want to devote more of my time to Him. Not only through serving, but by giving him the praise and worship due His name. I want to be like the cheerful giver in 2 Corinthians 9:7. "Each one must give as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

Have you been cheating God of something? Time? Money? Worship? Purpose to give sacrificially in one of these areas, not reluctantly but with joy and cheerfulness of heart. :)