Tag Archives: Giving

Why we give things away.

17 Sep

Last week my 4-year-old son and I packed up all his 4T clothes and sorted through all his 5T clothes handed down from his two older brothers and older cousin. (He’s a little big for his age.)

As we started going through the 5T clothes, I realized that we had WAY more than we needed to have. So in the middle of the sorting I stopped and talked to Jaxon and explained that we needed to give some of these “new to him” clothes away. (I love that my kids have grown to love and appreciate when something is new to them without asking “did someone else own this first?” We have mostly second-hand EVERYTHING in our house, including furniture, appliances and vehicles.)

Anyway, that’s a big lesson for a 4-year-old.  When you’re just receiving something new and someone tells you that even before you’ve used it once you have to give it away?! That’s tough.

He seemed a little confused at first but he understood what I was saying.  Without crying or begging me to change my mind, we sat down and sorted each piece of clothing and I let him pick “Keep or Give” for each one.  He did a really good job.  We might have ended up still keeping a few more items than we absolutely need to have, but he packed up an entire garbage bag full to give away.  And not all “play clothes” either.  Some really nice items.

We talked about how it will bless another boy  just like him and how excited he’ll be to get new clothes too.

Then I posted on Facebook to my friends that I had a free bag of 5T boys clothes available to whomever could use them this year.

A friend of mine asked for them but quickly said “I’m going to pay you something for them though.”

To which I replied, “That’s kind, but no you’re not.”

We don’t have much money — in fact, because of the move this spring…. we’re at the lowest point we’ve ever been our entire married life except for our very first year of marriage.  And now we have 4 kids to provide for.

There are people who disagree with me.  I know that Dave Ramsey (whom I GREATLY respect) teaches that you should sell everything you don’t need and use your money toward your debt.

(The only debt we have is our house…. which would still be FANTASTIC to pay off, we’re slowly trying…..)

But – I think there are certain scriptures that also apply in this case.

Let me make something REALLY, REALLY, REALLY, clear before I continue on with this post.

I AM NOT AGAINST GARAGE SALES!!!!!  I shop at them ALL the time!  I LOVE them!!!!!  And I’ve had one myself quite a few years back.  And Josh and I do sell items as well.  We have a snow blower for sale as we speak.  So please do not walk away from this post angry that I think if you sell something you’re evil, wrong or sinning.  I definitely DO NOT believe that in any way, shape or form.

That being said, I do believe there is a time to give – with no strings attached.

I’m so grateful for the bags of clothes that have been given to us from my sisters and friends over the years.  There is nothing like the feelings of pulling item after item out of the bag of things your kids really need and can get great use out of, and you never paid a dime.  That kind of blessing is hard to describe in its full measure.

And to have the chance to give that to someone else…. it makes my heart leap out of my chest.

I think that Luke 6:38 applies to this idea of giving with no string attached.

Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

We’ve seen that the more we give, the more we get.  Both emotionally and physically.

And I also reference the verse found in Psalm 3:27

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.”

I know it isn’t necessarily withholding good from someone to have them pay you $20 for a bag of clothes instead of giving it to them for free, however, in my mind – there are people who are turned away from the blessing when the payment is applied.

The clothes might be worth $100 in reality, but the person who deserves the good due them may not have the payment required.  In which case, we hold the power of whether or not to act.

And it becomes our choice – do our own goals of increasing our wealth (even if for good reason to buy more kids clothes or get out of debt) trump the need of someone else?

Sometimes if might.  And sometimes, it might not.

Again, I’m not saying if we sell an item of clothing we’re sinning, or withholding good, or we won’t receive a good measure from the Lord — I’m just sharing that for us, we’ve been blessed by receiving free clothes and giving free clothes – so we continue this habit as often as the seasons change and the kids grow.

Practical Application:

Have you ever been blessed by receiving something totally free with no strings or payment attached?

Have you ever given freely?

Is there anywhere that you might be withholding when you have the power to act?

Learning to ASK BIG

10 Jun

We just wrapped up a four-week series at church called “The Big Give.”  It was very challenging and extremely encouraging at the same time.  Our church put together 8 teams on Saturday and served the community where our church is located.  I was on the car wash team.  We took over the bays at a car wash, and when a car came up, we paid for the wash and did all the work to make it shine!  It was so awesome some of the people we met, and we all walked away feeling incredible.  And so it rings true, it really is more blessed to give than to receive.

While the past four sermons were all about ways to give to God and to others, you can’t talk about giving in Scripture without also running into the truths that follow.  God loves to bless the generous giver.  One of my favorite verses is Luke 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

God promises to reward the giver.  To provide for and meet the needs off the generous giver.  To fill our barns to over flowing.

Does that mean we’ll all be millionaires?  No.  That isn’t the only way God gives, blesses and provides.  But it can be.

When I see God bless others, I’m never surprised.  For example, when my pastor was recently given a new vehicle, I wasn’t shocked.  Maybe a little jealous (HA!) but not shocked.

And when God blesses me, I typically recognize it and rejoice!!

But here’s where the truth comes in to play, I’m afraid to ask God for big things.  Not because I don’t believe He “can” give them to us.  I know He can.  It’s because these things run through my mind….

What if He doesn’t want to?

What if we have sin in our lives that we’re not repenting of, no matter if we’re big givers or not, we’re not deserving.

Other people are in MORE need than us.

We can work this out.  God lets people go without “this or that” all the time.  We got this on our own.

If God wants to give this to us, He’ll give it even if we don’t ask.

What if I ask God, and He doesn’t do it – can I take feeling rejected?  I already really struggle with that feeling.

God doesn’t just go around giving people cars, houses, thousands of dollars every day for the fun of it.

 

I have no idea why I’m afraid to ask God for BIG things, other than Satan wants me to be.  I ask Him for small things all the time.  But if it’d take a miracle, or $10,000 – I’m not going to ask because it seems like MUCH too big of a request.

And to be honest, if it is more blessed to give than to receive – I feel guilty asking God “to get” something.

We all know, we don’t GIVE to GET.  It just doesn’t work that way.  God can’t bless the “entitled”.  He can bless the servant, the humble, and the generous.

So I get all up in my mind…. where’s the line between knowing God pours a good measure on those who give – and giving hoping to see God’s good measure poured on you?

I think I’m going to skip the practical application today and ask you all for some interaction. Does anyone want to share their heart today on this subject?

Do you ask God for big things?

Have you ever struggled giving for fear that you’re expecting something big yourself?

Are you a generous giver, and how has God shown up to bless you in return?

Do you struggle giving because you don’t feel like you financially can give anything?

One thing I do know, God LOVES to bless us.  So if I know all things come from God and He’s our provider – then when I’m in need, no matter HOW BIG – I need to go to God, and be willing to ASK BIG because He longs to take care of us – even above our expectations.