Monday, May 5, 2014

The #1 Lie You Tell Yourself About Giving

“It’s always easy.”

It’s not.

That’s the main reason you haven't been giving. You have this expectation that giving will feel comfortable and easy. Then you are given an opportunity to give and then to your dismay you find that it may require more time or more prayer or more money or more kindness that you just aren’t comfortable enough to part with at the moment. What happens next? You get cold feet and retreat claiming you’ll give another day - which conveniently happens to NEVER come. (I should know.)

If you think giving is supposed to be easy, you don’t understand what it means to give.

Take forgiving for example. Forgiving includes the word “giving”. It is considered one of the greatest acts of love any of us can ever perform in honor of God and service to others. Tell me, how easy is it for you to give love to others by forgiving them for hurting you?

Be honest.

If it was as easy as some might say, you wouldn’t still have the family feud that’s been going on for a decade in your house or you wouldn’t consider your ex who cheated “dead to you” or you wouldn’t still be gossiping with friends and insulting that girl who “did you wrong” last summer. (If I had to count how many times I did this, I would probably lose count.)

If you think giving is supposed to be easy, you don’t understand what it means to give.

Becoming a giver is not an easy state of being to get to. Not with the world you live in. Not when the bottom line for you probably is: “I gotta get me and mine taken care of”. Not when you have takers all around you encouraging you to take, take, take, and take some more. Not when you’re trying to “do the right thing” (yes, Spike Lee pun intended) and give but “everyone” else is calling you foolish or weak or a pushover. How many people do you know would support you if you told them you’d rather pray for the girl that called you a bitch instead of cussing her out and getting into an altercation? They’d probably say you were “weak” and unable to stand up for yourself. They’d say something like, “Girl, you must be out your mind. If it was me, I would never let anyone play me like that!”  (Those are hardly encouraging words to help you forgive others more.)

If you think giving is supposed to be easy, you don’t understand what it means to give.

Giving is sacrifice. It is the willingness to sacrifice money or time or resources or advice or compassion or sleep in the name of the wellbeing of another person. Giving is truly magical and divine when you do it in uncomfortable situations; when it is a person you don’t know or a person that you despise or when you’re tired or when you just want to go home and be alone. Giving is a sacrificial lifestyle that just isn’t in vogue. Look around you: giving is not what the “cool kids” are doing. They’re living for themselves with next-to-no-concern for the next guy. They’re hustling and scheming on how to get more…and then more…oh yes, and then more. The cool kids don’t want you to give, they want you to fight to “have-it-all” like they’re fighting to. (I’m a little confused; if you have it all, what will the rest get?)  

If you think giving is supposed to be easy, you don’t understand what it means to give.

The problem is if you don’t give, you’re not a true Christian. Think about it, Jesus spent his entire ministry giving. When he was teaching, he was giving his disciples and follower’s wisdom and instruction. When he resurrected Lazarus from the dead and gave the blind men their sight and drove out unclean spirits from those possessed and performed all his other miraculously wonderful works, he was giving the sick people healing. When he fed the five thousand with five loaves of bread and two fish, he was giving the hungry people food. When he went through the agony in the garden of Gethsemane and endured his passion (mockery, insult, beatings, carrying the cross, his crucifixion on the cross), he was literally giving his life as ransom for our sins. Christ said continually throughout the Bible (and showed with his life) that he came to serve. So, the way we become more like Christ (which by the way, is the purpose of Christianity) is to serve, a.k.a . give. The way we give like Christ is to accept that giving will sometimes be as simple as smiling at a stranger and other times as hard as forgiving a murderer.

If you think giving is supposed to be easy, you don’t understand what it means to give.

p.s. If you enjoyed this post and want more like it, make sure to share it with your friends and let me know in the comments section below lovelies. If you don't agree and have another opinion to share, drop a comment as well; I'd love to know what you're thinking:) If you prefer social media, you can also stay in touch with me via Twitter or Google+ - I can't wait to hear from you!

Disclaimer: Giving should never be reduced to only financial matters. Yes, ‘giving money’ is one form of giving but it definitely isn’t the only one. If you claim you can’t give because you don’t have money, you’re simply making excuses. Look at the life of Christ, the greatest giver of all: How many times did he give money to the people? Will you say he wasn’t a real giver? He gave the people spirit and truth and his life – now that’s what I call the greatest value. When you do have the money, give from it. When you don’t have the money, make sure to find other ways to give. While there are some cases when money is tight, there are also other cases when money is not tight. If you feel comfortable betting $2,000 on the Blackjack table at the casino, I daresay you can afford to be a financial giver too.

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