Ever been faced with a choice of giving or not giving at church? Or while passing a homeless person on the street? Or when a friend makes a desperate plea on Facebook for help funding their missions trip to Botswana?
I struggle with the decision on whether or not I should give every single time it comes up, but in spite of my continual questioning, God continues to prove faithful to me in my finances.
Sure, I bust my butt to find new editing clients. I spend time and money to visit conferences where I can meet prospective clients (and as a huge bonus I get to promote Splickety Publishing Group and our awesome magazines) but I’m not naive enough to believe that I’m making this happen on my own.
A while back I was behind on what I usually give. I just was. I’d been gone at conferences and stuff and hadn’t had the chance to give like I normally do. As such, I figured I owed a certain amount (based on what I normally give) the next time I was at church.
I thought about that number while in my car before I disembarked for church, and I realized I had other income I hadn’t yet accounted for, so I bumped it up by another $50.
I hesitated. That amount plus an extra $50 would bring my bank account dangerously close to zero after I considered my other expenses for the month. What if something unplanned should happen? What if I screwed up the math (I’m a writer, after all) and I overdrew my account or something?
I had a choice in that moment. I could either trust God (easier than it sounds) or trust in myself…or in money.
Now understand—I’m a lifelong tither. It’s something I decided to do from an early age, and I consistently give 10% or more based on my income. This is not a new idea to me.
But things had gotten tight since striking out on my own to make a living at my freelance editing career, and I began having second thoughts about tithing.
I’d been trying to book clients for that September for the previous three months. I had people interested, but their finances had to line up with my schedule—sometimes I think aligning planets would be easier. That extra $50, while small to many of you, could break me if I didn’t get a new client lined up in time.
Still, in spite of my reservations, I’d made a commitment to give a certain amount based on what I earned, and I decided to do that.
That afternoon, when I got out of church, guess what I found in my email? One of my clients decided to hire me to begin working on her project in September. Coincidence? Maybe it is to you, but not to me. Never to me. I serve a God who loves me too much for me to believe that this (and most of the other good things in my life) was just a coincidence.
So here’s my challenge to you: start to give at your local church. If you don’t attend a church, find a ministry doing real, tangible good in the world and give to them. Money is finite; mercy is not.
If you’re already giving, pat yourself on the back, and then ask God to show you if/where/when you should give more. Every time I give, it stretches me, both in my finances and in my faith. Being stretched (by God) is a good thing, because then we learn to be more flexible in all things.
Here are 4 tweetable phrases you can share with your friends, if you like. (My twitter handle is @1BenWolf, by the way.)
What about you? When and how do you give? Please share your story in the comments below.
Ben Wolf is the Editor-In-Chief and Founder of Splickety Publishing Group. If you liked this story, get a copy of his debut action/adventure novel Blood for Blood, the story of what might happen if a vampire got saved. It’s available for purchase through amazon.com and through his website, benwolf.com. You can also follow him on twitter: @1BenWolf.