BY JONATHAN MUELLER
Recently someone shared with me that they considered me to be a generous person. On the outside I smiled and said those were kind words, but on the inside I was thinking, “if they only knew my internal struggle of giving with a generous heart.”
Being perfectly honest, I have always struggled with the god of financial security. As a child I was always worried about my parents having enough money to provide for us. In high school, I started mowing grass to earn money. However, I wasn’t content with just earning some weekend money. I grew the business throughout high school and college, and upon graduation I actually took a pay cut for a “real” job! Some might say I was ambitious, but in reality, the underlying motivation was about having cash in the bank.
I wish that was just a stage in life, but as I have progressed in my career, I continue to tell myself the same lie, “If I can just get one more raise or just a little bigger bonus, then I will be content.” I know it’s a lie; it never satisfies.
So, why do I continue to believe the lie? The harsh truth is I live as though money equals security and security equals control, and I want to be in control. Now how is that for trusting in the sovereignty of God?
So do I really believe that everything I have comes from God? Do I believe God gave me all of my time, talent and resources? Do I believe that I bring nothing to the table? Do I believe that he will provide for all of my needs? If I truly embraced these truths, wouldn’t it be easy to give and give generously?
Over the years, I have learned that giving, like many things in the Christian life, boils down to a heart issue. Giving is both an acknowledgment and then a response to the responsibility to be a steward of the resources God has given me. Giving regularly to City Church still requires discipline, but the beauty in this discipline is that it has also become an act of worship as I’ve experienced God working on my heart.
I wish I could say I have this giving thing figured out, but I don’t. Therefore, my prayer is that the Lord will loosen my grip on financial security, to quit living the lie that material things satisfy and to have the wisdom to discern the eternal investments that have a kingdom impact. If you struggle with giving and giving generously, I hope this will be your prayer too.