Ready to give?

10 May

I love Saturdays. I love waking up around 9:00 and getting in the Word for at least 45 minutes. This verse caught my eye as I was doing my Bible reading plan today:

“For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have.” (2 Corinthians 8:12)

Paul is talking about financial giving in this passage but goes on to say that our giving shouldn’t cause us to be burdened while others are eased but that we should give out of our present abundance–our “more than enough.”

I think this verse speaks to what a lot of Christians think about giving, myself included. I have a desire to give, not just financially but with my time and energy. I want to be a relief worker for the American Red Cross or the Peace Corps. I want to cook meals for the homeless, be a friend to the forgotten, and giver to the needy.

But something always stops me. I can always find a reason why “now is not a good time.”

Sometimes it’s practicality. Other times it’s scheduling conflicts. Other times it’s not having enough money. Or being scared. Or being indifferent when the excitement of the idea wears off. Or passing the idea off as a impractical ideal–after all, I’m an adult now with bills and a full-time job, right?

But Paul doesn’t make room for excuses in this verse. He says that if we have the readiness and the desire to give, whatever we have at that moment is acceptable, whether it’s a lot or just a little. I don’t have to wait until the day that I am perfectly set up for giving.

Which is a good eye-opener/reminder for me. I keep thinking about the days when I’ll be a stay-at-home mom. THEN I’ll be able to bake cookies as sweet reminders (no pun intended) for friends and people who are struggling. THEN I’ll be able to volunteer at my local homeless shelter or library or wherever I would volunteer at.

But if I keep making excuses now, when I don’t have any kids and am not involved in many activities, will I ever stop making them? Will I ever be “perfectly set up” for giving and volunteering?

I don’t think so. I think there will always be things to get in the way, things I think I should be doing instead, things that make giving or volunteering seem a little bit impractical and unwise.

But God calls us to trust in Him, not to be wise or practical in our own eyes. He calls us to live bold, fearless lives for Christ, whatever that entails. So if I am not stepping out on a limb, not for lack of a limb but for lack of trust, then I am not living my life in faith. I am stagnating, treading water, waiting for a day that may never come.

So now the hard part: how to put this into practice? I am notorious for good insights and no follow-through. I have found that I like philosophizing much more than I like applying. But evangelism and serving others have been on my heart for quite some time now. This gives me a good launch point into some serious reflection–and if the Lord wills (and enables), some action.

One Response to “Ready to give?”

  1. ubahleeob May 10, 2008 at 9:26 am #

    I love that verse .. ” if you have decided to give, and you have it, give it.” Believe me, you are not alone. Many times recently I have been moved to really do something, really try to impact a situation, but I don’t follow through. But something tells me you probably give more than you think. Remember, it is not always about moving mountains, sometimes it’s about a cup of water.

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