I have learned the joy of giving over the years. I didn’t learn it at one particular time or place. I think the Lord has just been shaping this into my heart. A few years ago when I first heard of Dave Ramsey, I was pretty broke. He said something that resonated with me: “Broke people don’t give”. I decided that I didn’t want to be broke ever again – I wanted to be a giver. My wife and I began to get momentum as we slowly but surely changed our spending habits and started dumping debt with a passion. We wanted to be free from debt and wanted to know the joy of giving. It is still a daily decision to be careful. I heard a prayer from a brother not long ago that resonated with me. He asked the Lord to help him not want so much. So Tina and I have really wrestled between what are “needs” and “wants”.
Moses is overseeing the construction of the tabernacle (aka tent of meeting). He has chosen two men who were highly skilled by God and they were responsible for managing the other volunteers who helped as well. It was a pretty significant undertaking. They begin the work and Moses talks to the people about giving. Check this out…
2 Then Moses summoned Bezalel and Oholiab and every skilled person to whom the Lord had given ability and who was willing to come and do the work. 3 They received from Moses all the offerings the Israelites had brought to carry out the work of constructing the sanctuary. And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. 4 So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left what they were doing 5 and said to Moses, ‘The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done.’
6 Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: ‘No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.’ And so the people were restrained from bringing more, 7 because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work. (Exodus 36:2-7 NIV)
It sort of blew my mind that Moses commanded the people to stop giving. I’ve never heard before. I’m not sure if I’ve never been part of generosity or if the projects I’ve given for can spend whatever they raise, so the budget becomes open ended. Here in the USA, we have an insatiable appetite for more. It’s hard to satisfy our open-ended wish list of stuff. I’ve noticed that the stuff often ends up owning me instead of me owning it.
I want to take a step back and let the Lord move in my heart and develop me into a very generous person. I want to be generous for His Glory NOT my own. I want to be a giver of my time as well as my treasure. I want to be generous toward others with both time and treasure. I’ve never done so much that He told me to stop. I have been told to stop giving to a certain person on entity, but I’ve never been told to stop giving. I want to be a Spirit driven giver!