I can come up with all kinds of excuses not to give money to my Church or good causes: they won’t miss my measly $20; there are people who give thousands without a blink and I can’t give much; my kid needs new wrestling shoes; I want my daughter to get a haircut so her friends will be nicer to her; God would want me to take good care of my self esteem and get my hair highlighted professionally; and I need to balance my checkbook again before I let any more go away.
I know we are supposed to just enjoy giving to others. And I do, in many ways I enjoy giving to others. We all like giving birthday presents to friends, but giving to an entity without a face is harder for me.
Dave Ramsey (www.Dave Ramsey.com) says we are to give away 10% of our income to the Church. Is that net or gross, I wonder? Hmmm, I am not tithing to either level yet. I have a budget, you see, I use mint.com and keep track of everything I am supposed to buy and spend on, and it only balances out if I… blah blah blah. You know the story. I want to buy more stuff and watch more movies than I want to give money away.
I also don’t believe I have enough money for everything I need in my life. And, I have not forgotten the really lousy deal I got in both divorces. I was completely decimated, wiped out, cleaned up on like a rag doll. It has taken me 6 years to recover financially and get my feet back on the ground.
What would happen if we had the attitude that “I have enough”, “I don’t need any more than I have”, “I am blessed”, which also means I have the attitude “I am not a victim of my ex-husband/society/my parents/my bosses’ crazy bonus program that doesn’t include me/the current economic situation”.
Then we would feel better giving, wouldn’t we? If we know we have enough, and God is taking care of us, then we have more than enough blessings and we can give away money to others without a problem. In fact, if we give money away, would it maybe tweak away at the victim thoughts in our mind?
When we give, are we acting as if we have enough; will that idea find rest in our hearts and minds if we take action and 1) act as if we have enough coming in, and 2) we do have control over our own expenditures?
That victim mode sucks the life out of us. When I feel I don’t have enough, then I quickly feel I don’t make enough, and I can’t get enough (money), it trickles into every other aspect of my life. In addition to feeling financially poor, I feel lonely without enough friends; I feel loveless, without a partner and companion; and my family feels far away. But what if I took action against that “there is not enough” attitude and acted as if I have more than enough and can give money away to causes I believe in and to people who do not have food in their cabinets or clothes in their closets? Or worse yet, clean water to drink?
When you give, you are getting maximum horsepower out of your personal design. —Dave Ramsey
My personal design is to be strong and yet trusting; this is a complicated place to get to… but I think giving money and trusting God’s plan for me do go together.
The giving and trusting mindset vs. victim mode: Which will win our hearts today?
In honor of World Water Day yesterday, I am including pictures today on that topic.