How Much Do You Give?

17 Sep

“When God blesses you financially, do not raise your standard of living.  Raise your standard of giving.”  ~ Mark Batterson

We seem to internalize at a very young age the concept of gathering and hoarding.  People often seem to want and, once they receive what they want, want more.  It is that way with money, with objects, with perks, with friends, and with a whole host of other things that can be accumulated.

While we seem really good at collecting, we are rather poor at sharing.  We do not want to let go of what we have.  Some people claim they do not want to let go because what they have is theirs.  Others do not want to let go because they might not get back again what they are letting go.  Still others, quite frankly, could care less about the needs of those around them.

One of the mysteries of stewardship is that the more we give, the more we receive.  Those who engage in giving — whether it be time, talent, or treasure — will state over and over again that when they gave away, they received just as much back, if not more.

This is not just something that I have heard from others.  This has happened many times in my own life as well.  I may have felt that my finances were tight when a friend would come up to me and ask me for help.  I would give them what they needed and within a short period of days, I would receive a windfall that made up what I gave out.  I may have felt totally spent when someone called me and asked for my time because that person was in distress.  I would arrange for them to come in and, by the end of our meeting, I would feel refreshed instead of more tired.

God blesses each and every one of us and He does it for a reason.  He does it so that we can bless others in the world.  St. Teresa of Avila said it best: “Christ has no body now but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours. Yours are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world. Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good. Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world. Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body. Christ has no body now on earth but yours.”

FAITH ACTION:  Give of yourself completely today trusting that God will replenish all that you need in order to give of yourself again tomorrow.