That doesn’t make a lot of sense, does it? Giving should be the easiest thing in the world to do. But it’s not. Not always. And even when a person WANTS to give, it can still be hard. Why is that, I asked myself today.
As mentioned before, I’d come across this 30-day giving challenge this morning, and felt like it was something I should do. And naturally, just as SOON as I made that decision, doubts and depression hit like a whirlwind. I don’t think I can blame it all on satan’s attacks; after all, I have a mind of my own, don’t I? I do a lot of self-talk, and it’s not always pleasant what I say to myself. I had a feeling that if I stepped out and made a commitment to reach out to somebody somehow, for an entire month, I would immediately be clobbered with all sorts of setbacks and obstacles and hurdles and mind games and – well, you get the picture. Part of it was my own fault, I’m sure. My Charlie Brown complex kicked in and kicked me down a bit. Why is it, when I want to make a stand for something good and godly, I get rained on by all these doubts and fears??
There it is. The reason. See all those little is? The problem, sez I, is I. This should be about looking for ways to serve the LORD and point people towards Him, not about ways to conquer “Mount I-ME.” So this evening, just when my morale was sinking in the western sky with the soggy sun, a thought slipped in…very quietly…and shook me up a bit. Why don’t you just let the LORD lead you to somebody to encourage, instead of trying to make it happen yourself? And you know what happened? He led somebody to ME, to encourage ME. I thought I was supposed to be giving to somebody, and here somebody else gave to me. Talk about humbling!!
Well, lemme tell ya, all the way home tonight, after our Thursday Bible study, I was thanking the Lord for that lift. I stopped by the gas station to fill the tank, and – wouldn’t you know it – the attendant gave to me too. He washed the back window of my car . . . something a gas station attendant does, right? Not so much any more, actually — that seems to be a thing of the past. But he did it, without me asking. I was humbled and thankful, and I let him know I noticed and appreciated it. And it seemed to make him feel better for being acknowledged and thanked for that little action, so I felt better for having stopped there. I guess sometimes a smile and a thank-you DO count as giving.
And on that note, I will count Day One of the 30-day giving challenge as a success. Somebody encouraged and helped me, and I tried to encourage and thank someone else.
See, giving isn’t always about things. It’s about looking at a person and not through him/her. It’s about sharing a piece of yourself, allowing someone to get close to you, maybe even being a little bit vulnerable. When you give something to someone (even anonymously), you open yourself up to rejection. Whether the person knows you gave it or not, you put yourself in a position to be hurt if (s)he rejects the gift or disparages the act of giving.
I think that must be how the LORD feels when He offers the free gift of salvation, and it’s scoffed at and trodden underfoot, like a piece of trash. Such hurt. Think of it . . . something you chose with great thought, planned for just the perfect thing, saved up and sacrificed to be able to give it . . . and the recipient sneers at it and finds fault with it. How do you feel?
How did I get off onto that line of thought?