My church is going through a DVD series by Andy Stanley called "Five Things God Uses To Grow Your Faith". This week we're up to personal disciplines & the ones he happens to hone in on are giving & prayer.
I'm fine with the prayer thing. Its already a well worn habit. But I have to admit, I'm still kind of stingy with my money. I grew up on the poor end & I've learned the value of working hard, paying my bills & setting something aside for a rainy day. I'm a single gal on my own & I'm determined not to repeat the same mistakes my parents made. However, I'm well aware that giving is something God calls me to do.
So today I was debating how much 10% (the traditional tithing amount) was. 10% for me translates to 4 tanks of gas or 3 "stock up on all your staples" kinds of trips to the grocery store. It covers 2 credit card payments or a visit to the doctor & a prescription... When I think of 10%, I instantly think of the loss & what I'll have to do to cover that gap.
Our pastor reminded us today that God doesn't need our money. Money isn't even the issue- its our faith at stake, not our finances. Today as I debated 10%, I felt very angry with myself- why couldn't I just let go & write the stupid check? I was afraid. How would the money be spent? And would I have a big enough cushion to fall back on at the end of the month or in case of emergency? So God offered me a scripture, 1 John 4:18. Its the one that talks about there being no fear in love & how perfect love drives out fear... I think He's saying that taking a step toward trusting Him (by tithing) is a step toward perfecting my love for Him. And the more I trust Him, the more that fear is driven out... And the more that fear is driven out, the more my love is perfected for Him... and on & on.