I have been really convicted lately about how much I have been given in life and how little I give back. When I look at all that God has blessed me with, I cannot help but feel so incredibly loved and selfish at the same time. Because of something that I had absolutely no control over, I am able to do so many things that MOST of the world can only dream about. I was born in the United States, in the heart of Silicon Valley. I am a part of the richest population and I have given little to help those around me but have no problem spending money on myself every week. I have been blessed with not only the privilege of being able to speak openly about my faith but it is even written in the constitution that I have the RIGHT to speak openly about it. Yet, how often do I actually speak openly about my faith to those that do not know Christ? Or even to those that know Christ? I am so quiet about my Christian walk, and with the resources that God has given me, it’s embarrassing how openly I give. I call myself a Christian and love God, but my actions do not say the same. Actions speak louder than words and my actions have not been telling the “follower of Christ” story that I want them to tell.
I was especially convicted when Steve Clifford was talking to Awakening about being generous. He said one thing that really stuck with me: “A God honoring life has generosity and sacrifice in it.” This stuck with me because I try to be generous and loving with people, but I do not feel that I sacrifice much for God or to advance His kingdom. I tithe monthly (although I must admit this is something new for me) and I give my time when I can. Although this may seem like sacrifice, I feel selfish because I give my time when it is convenient for me, not always when I feel God’s leading in my life. I have become more aware of this voice in my life and am following it when I hear it, but it has been a slow-moving process. After hearing from Steve about how much I have been given in this world, especially living in the United States, I am determined to make what I have been given count towards something that is more worthy of my time and resources than a new CD or a new pair of shoes (that, honestly, I really don’t need).
What if we all gave a little more and took a little less? What if we all gave to the greater cause and stopped making the “I’m just one person, I cannot make a difference” excuse? What IF we all made the decision to STOP world hunger, preventable diseases, and homelessness AND actually did something about it? Steve gave a “what if” answer and said that if all of the church members in America gave only 10% of what the earned, and if each church gave away only 40% of what was given we could solve world hunger, most of the education issues in the world, and provide clean water for the poorest billion in the world! That is a shocking statement!! This is not every person in the world, but only a small percentage of Americans!!! We can make a difference!
I challenge you this week to give more and take less. Whether this is tithing for the first time and making that little sacrifice for God, or buying a homeless person lunch. Everything makes a different. God says: “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Matthew 25:40
Go. Make a difference in this world.
Author: Laura Watkins