Resurrected Living
"What are you going to do with your new resurrected life? This is the heroic question." Richard Rohr

The Blessing of Giving

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“It is more blessed to give than to receive.” – Jesus

For much of my adult life, I have been in debt. I had student loans, credit card debt, medical bills, car payments, and more. Being in debt is not fun. It is a burden. You are literally a slave to the debt you owe. There is little or no freedom when you are in debt. You cannot always do what you want to do. You have to make certain sacrifices to pay off your debt. Much of the debt my wife and I incurred was when we were in college and did not realize the full ramifications of our choices. It has taken many years to free ourselves from this weight we have carried.

As we have begun to experience financial freedom, it has allowed us to give. Before we could not give even if we desperately wanted to. Debt robbed us of the joy of giving and it is a true joy. I never imagined the simple act of giving would bless my life as it has. I regret that I missed out on it for so many years. I am thankful we are now able to support our friends who are missionaries in Ethiopia. We are more than just financial supporters. We are partners with them in the work they are doing. I love being able to give more to my church. Our church is involved in so many great works and it is wonderful to witness firsthand the fruit of our labor. It is great to be able to help people in need and give to the causes we care about. You don’t know the blessing of giving until you do it.

God wants us to be givers. He wants us to experience the blessing of giving. He wants us to be a blessing to others. Sadly, many people in church never experience this blessing. Often this is because of the situation my wife and I were in for many years. People are unable to give because of debt. What is even sadder is that we rarely talk about this problem that many people face. There is a shame associated with debt. We want to keep up appearances. We don’t want anyone knowing our true financial situation. We don’t want to let on that we are living paycheck to paycheck. We continue to live above our means and just put it on the credit card and go even further in debt. We have believed the lie that our finances have nothing to do with our spiritual health, and churches have helped this lie spread because most of them have remained silent.

Every week, people who are in deep financial debt and people who have made wise financial decisions sit on the same church pews. They could help one another, but the family in debt feels shame because of the situation they are in, and the family who has made wise financial decisions does not want to meddle. Both families avoid the subject, and the problem only gets worse.

What can we do? We can learn to act more like a family which the church is. We need to be more open about the struggles we all face. We need to create an environment where people feel comfortable sharing sensitive information with others. We need to strengthen the relationships within our congregations. We need to not get defensive if a church leader addresses a subject such as finances. We need to understand they are not trying to meddle. They are simply trying to help us spiritually. Churches need to encourage older members to mentor younger members. The church should be a place where wisdom is shared and passed on to the next generation.

It is truly a blessing to give, but many Christians will never experience this blessing if we don’t start acting as the church ought to act.

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