Giving by Simple Living
Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in and steal; for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” ~Matthew 6:19-21
My Papa has always been a very visionary man and a whole-hearted self-employed entrepreneur. He went through a few very difficult business failures before I was born and when I was young, although I was oblivious. God provided everything we needed. We ate very simply, but we did not need much to be happy…definitely not a message this world sends out, but it is true. When you have little, you are satisfied with little, if you have the love of a wonderful family around you (at least this seems to be the view from a child’s perspective).
My parents raised eight children in the same simple house I was born in, and they still live there! Throughout the years, my dad was faithful and God blessed him as a result and he became very successful in business. He had many difficult lessons to learn through his business failures, and he always told us it was due to his pride that the business failed. Throughout the years, I have greatly admired my father’s generosity. He always knew that God had given him much so that he could give it back!
So why am I living a simple lifestyle? I would rather live simply and be able to give the surplus away for the service of others and for the extension of God’s kingdom. By God’s grace, Aaron & I have sought to dedicate 10% of our monthly income (in addition to 10% to tithing) to give as the Lord directs. This includes a few missionary friends, important organizations we are burdened to support, and a dedicated amount that we give to a needy family within our church. Each month we pray together who the Lord would have us give it to.
I say this not to boast, but to give God the glory that He always provides what we need no matter how much we give away! That is the ironic thing. All our money belongs to Him in the first place, we are only temporary stewards. Why not invest the resources we have in a far greater way by giving them back to Him?
Acts 20:35 – It is more blessed to give than to receive! Did I mention how rewarding it is? Living with a giving mentality has filled our household with unspeakable joy. We have received notes from those we have given to in our body that have just blessed our socks off. The Lord always prompted us to give exactly when there was a need.
My dad always said: Give until it hurts! If we aren’t giving to the extent that it hurts, than it is not enough! If we aren’t giving to the extent that we have to make sacrifices in our lives, than it is not sufficient! You can see this in the story of the rich man at the temple. The poor widow gives all that she has, whereas the rich people give out of their abundance (it doesn’t hurt them any and they are glorying in the amount they gave). The widow gave so much more because it was out of the little that she had (she sacrificed it all)!
We desire our hearts to be focused on eternity, and what better way to do it than to send it on ahead?
Based on the average American household’s income, if every household in America gave away only 5% of their annual income, we would have $280 billion dollars annually available for a greater work than spending it on ourselves!
“Let temporal things serve your use, but the eternal be the object of your desire.” ~ Thomas A Kempis
More to come…