So …. this happened on Sunday!
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.2 Corinthians 9:7
Cheerful: Not Grudgingly
On Sunday I gave my tithes and offerings for the first time in a long time. You see, I had not held a “real” job in twenty years. I was last gainfully employed when we lived in Wisconsin. There I cleaned a small office once a week for Mr. Fasching, and made $20.00 for just a few hours of work (that was pretty good money back in the day). I set aside my ten percent each week and gave it cheerfully as the Bible commanded. In fact I giggled at my unwavering faithfulness, wondering what God was going to do with my $2.00.
A cheerful giver gives to missions.
Cheerful: Not out of Necessity
This year, our Missions Conference was held at the end of April. All throughout the meetings, I felt impressed that I should be giving money to missions. Once again, I laughed within myself thinking,
“How am I supposed to give to missions? I don’t have an income.”
By convincing myself that I was, in essence, tithing, I have somewhat eased my conscience over the years. I mean, quite honestly, ten percent of nothing is nothing, right? But, an offering was a gift that was over and above the tithe. Shouldn’t I at least be giving an offering?
God will Prepare your Heart so that you can be a Cheerful Giver
Monday night rolled around, and, before the guest speaker had even begun to start the message, I could feel a lump developing in my throat. Believe me when I say, “I am an ugly crier.” I knew when the first tear started falling, there would be more tears flowing than my little wadded up piece of tissue from last week was going to be able to accommodate. I started
However, it was too late. The first drop had swelled up and spilled over the edge of my lower eye lid, and subsequently rolled down my burning hot cheek. From that point on, things just spiraled out of control. There was no hope of holding back the floodgates and the buckets of snot to follow.
After a few sniffs, some muffled sobs and several swipes with my arm sleeve, I started to regain my composure. The tears stopped flowing and I began to let go of my pride. I had to come to terms with the fact that I felt somewhat slighted by God.
Remove the Stinkin’ Thinkin’ that keeps you from being a Cheerful Giver
The truth is, I have a wonderful life. I am raising my kids in hopes that one day they will grow up and serve God. And He is answering that prayer over and above what I could ever hope or wish. But, if I truly believed this, then why was I feeling a sense of betrayal?
The answer to this question is simple, and I have confronted it many times over the past ten years. Yes, my children are serving Jesus, but the ones who have grown are serving Him someplace that is far away from me. And this has often made me question my choices in life, and the consequences of those choices. And to be honest, that night, I felt as if I had already sacrificed enough for the cause of Christ and for missions. But the reality is, these were not my sacrifices at all. These acts of obedience were merely the Lord leading in their life, and them being obedient to God’s call.
Christ provides the offering for the Cheerful Giver
Christ was impressing upon me His will for my life. On this night I was thinking,
“I know this gig is nearly up and I am just about at the end of an era. Now is the time for me to consider what will come next for me.”
It’s true, I am a mother, and I will be for the rest of my life. However, my hours are being cut back drastically as the years pass by, and it seems I am being forced into early retirement. Soon, I will no longer be able to lean upon the talents of my children to fulfill my duties as a Christian. I am going to have to find a new way of serving and giving back to the Lord.
It felt as if I were being humbled once again, under the mighty hand of God. I said,
“Lord, I’ll do whatever it is you want. You know my heart and my desire to serve you wholly.”
God Rewards the Cheerful Giver
A few days later, a business opportunity dropped into my lap, and without skipping a beat, I became a shampoo salesman. I have never stopped to question if God is in this, because I feel that I have a clear direction that this is exactly what He is leading me to do. My company has a fine business plan. I have been using the products, I love the products, and so it only makes sense to me that I should be selling the products.
Don’t Discourage the Cheerful Giver
Therefore, if you see some random posts from me on one of my social media accounts about a great hair care system, I hope you’ll shine a little grace my way. Don’t be too quick to judge my motives just because it is a direct sales company. I truly believe that God is leading in this endeavor. I may find in the future that I am not as successful as some of my counterparts in this type of business, but there is great satisfaction in learning new things and helping others who are struggling with some of the same issues I struggle with myself.
The Cheerful Giver finds Joy in the Tiniest of Things
And now I can say once again,
“I am a cheerful giver!”
Yes, it did give me a brief chuckle as I prepared my little pink envelope on Sunday. And yes, I may or may not have sarcastically thought,
“Don’t spend it all in one place, God.”
But, can I just say, His promises never fail. The Bible teaches that if I am faithful in a little He will make me ruler over much (Luke 19). I have already witnessed Him multiply my insignificant little mite ten-fold this week, but I’ll save that story for another day!