Many of us have an attitude that because of our financial struggles, or perhaps because we are just barely able to give to ministries and still pay our bills, one insignificant dollar matters very little in the Kingdom work of Jesus Christ here on earth. But it does matter deeply.
Remember the story of the widow’s mite and how it was not a lot, yet it was all she had? Her heart mattered greatly to the Lord. In the same way, the desires of your heart matter a great deal to the Lord. Because you can only give a little, this should never stop you from the wonderful act of worship that giving is.
Some time ago, while on the radio, I took a call from a person who was feeling rather frustrated because she had no money to give. She said to me “How can you tell us to be faithful givers when I cannot afford to even put gas in my car and I am struggling to pay my bills?” I asked her to hold the line, and she did. And we then talked “off the air.” I asked her to do me a favor: the next time she had some money to put gas in her car, instead of putting $10 worth of gas in her car to put $9.50 in and take the other $.50 and give it to the church.
I told her that her car would not miss the $.50 worth of gas and neither would she, and it would be the beginning of a multiplying process, where God is always faithful. I said that her idea of giving seemed insurmountable because she had not yet started to do it. She was unwilling because she felt that $.50 or a dollar was insignificant. It is not insignificant if it is your heart’s desire, and the $.50 that you give is every bit as pleasing to the Lord as the $50 someone else gives.
When we think about our money—the management of it and taking care of those under our roof—when we fear that we won’t have enough or that we won’t do the right thing with the abundance that we have, we need to give that fear over to the Lord. Give always as your heart desires—not what your checkbook would require or by the laws of your church, and not according to some legalistic mandate you were told is in the Bible. Rather, give as your heart would desire and as the Lord would lead. Certainly, give what is possible, but when it seems there is nothing possible for you to give, know there is always something.
Even though our current economy is strong, we could have difficult times ahead. Sometimes, I am fearful about our culture, but I am not fearful about my money. I am fearful about the lack of giving. I am fearful that the work of Christ will not be able to continue. Take joy as you give glory to God by giving to your church that is proclaiming the gospel or to another great ministry out there.
We know, as our society continues to become more deeply entrenched in a “me” and “my” mentality that there are great organizations that strive to share the truth of Christ. There are many great ministries proclaiming the gospel, and some, like ours at Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries, are simply trying to help people to do what is right with God’s money so God’s work might grow.
If you want to begin to lose the hold—the grip—that your money (either too much or not enough) has on your life, begin to have an attitude that you cannot take it with you, and that Christian ministries need it so that future generations can hear the truth.
Keep in mind that government authorities or secular organizations are not concerned with making sure truth is communicated or that Christian ministries stay solvent. Always give first to your church; it is ultimately up to God’s people to make sure our church doors stay open, where the gospel is proclaimed and the truth is heard. I do believe that we all need to work toward a tithe and always be willing to be instruments of God work—even with our money.
Eliminate your fear by understanding that all that you have—every nickel that you have the ability or the opportunity to earn—whether you go to work joyfully or not, is because God has opened a door for you to provide for your family, earn a living and hopefully provide for the Kingdom.
Finally, we cannot truly have a love for the Lord and give glory to God in all that we do, while we compartmentalize any segment of our lives away from His counsel and direction. It all has to be recognized—that the good in our lives, both the opportunities and our abilities, come from God. We need to fall on our knees each and every day, as we give our fears over to the Lord and give gratitude for all that we have.
Dan Celia is president and CEO of Financial Issues Stewardship Ministries, Inc., and host of the nationally syndicated radio and television program “Financial Issues,” heard daily on more than 650 stations across the country and reaching millions of households on several TV networks. Visit www.financialissues.org.