For Day 7 of my 10 Days of Thankfulness, I am grateful for the choice/opportunity to give.
I guess you could say that my financial situation has changed a lot since I became a missionary :) One could (emphasis on could) say that since becoming a missionary, I’ve “lost” my financial “security” because I no longer have things like a regular income or direct deposit.
Now, I want to be clear that this is not how I view my financial situation at all. One of the main reasons I’ve chosen to not view things this way is simply because I love to give. I don’t ever want my checking account to dictate my ability to give. I believe that generosity is a choice, and the amount or frequency of one’s generosity shouldn’t ever be determined or limited to the enormity or minuteness of one’s material resources. You can give no matter what – if you want to.
One of my favorite verses in the Bible about giving is found in 2 Corinthians 9:8. It says:
“And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” (NLT, New Living Translation)
For me, this verse serves as a statement of financial security. I admit that I really took a leap of faith leaving the security of my life and work in America, and moving to Africa to be a missionary. But I’ve never lacked since I’ve been out here and I don’t believe I ever will. God has truly provided for me and has blessed me in tremendous ways. On top of that – and because of that – I feel like my desire for giving has only increased.
For years now, I’ve made it a priority to budget a portion of my income specifically for giving – whether it’s giving to my church, to an individual or to a worthy cause. But I don’t just limit myself to giving money. I also make an effort to be generous with my time, talents and other non-monetary resources. Basically, my philosophy on giving is, if I have the inkling to give (which happens pretty frequently), I want to find a way to give. If you make giving a priority in your life, you will always be able to afford to do it.
Giving can be as simple as writing a kind note to someone, which is, consequently, one of my favorite ways to give. Writing a kind note doesn’t cost much, and it won’t take much of your time, but it can be extremely valuable and meaningful to the person receiving the note.
Plus it is just so much FUN to give! I really doubt that if anyone made giving a priority, they would fail to become addicted to giving. To me, the joy of giving truly is greater for the giver than for the receiver, or as the old adage goes, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
I am truly thankful for the joy of giving, and it’s a practice I only hope to increase in – even as a missionary :)