Money, money, money, money

Posted by on November 21, 2006

Recently, Eleanor and I were discussing a deadline for a church publicity project. A message hadn’t gotten through, and we were discussing whether we were going to have to pay a late fee for the postcards we had ordered. Just then, our son Johnny heard the discussion. Feeling the emotion in the conversation, he said, “Mommy and Daddy, you can have all of the money in my piggy bank if you need it.”

Of course Eleanor’s and my eyes welled up a bit. We thanked Johnny and gave him a big hug.

Somewhere between age 3 and adulthood, we seem to lose that generous spirit and learn to be fiercely protective of our money. Jesus himself spent a large fraction of his teaching time talking and teching about money, but whenever we mention it in church – however gently – someone gets angry and stops coming to worship… Maybe it’s guilt, maybe it’s an unwillingness to submit to God’s will for us, maybe it’s even greed… I don’t know.

It wasn’t easy for us to start tithing (tithing means giving 10% of your income to the church), but Eleanor and I have been tithing for many years now – I think 2007 may be the 10th year. We have done it when we had a lot and when we had very little, and we have found ourselves freed. I feel a lot more like Johnny now. “Take my piggybank, God!” We’ve found that 10% is a starting point for us now. And our needs continue to be met in mysterious ways. I sometimes feel concerned about how I will provide for my family, but God provides. For example, a bicycle recently appeared on the front porch, for example, and we were given a set of bunk beds when we had just started shopping for them.

Life is better when we feel free to be generous and can talk about money without the tension and anger that used to accompany it. I just wish I could figure out how to communicate that to people without so much fallout…

Leave a comment if you have a suggestion! In the meantime, give thank God for your blessings and be generous!

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