As a missionary, I’ve encountered a certain part of the faith that most of the laity don’t get too familiar with: dependence on the generosity of others for financial support.
Yep, as a missionary, I have to fund raise everything that I live on. I’m pretty much done with the actual fund raising now, but all summer I was doing it all the time: mailing, calling, visiting, asking. It was a heck of a journey, but praise God I seem to be in the clear!
I learned just how generous people are financially.. people who I know had no business donating to me offered what they could, and people who could have easily given a smaller amount stepped it up and were super generous.
Well, being in a situation where I have to “beg” for money really helped me to realize that I have to be generous myself for others. Even though I have to fund raise, I actually tithe myself! For anyone who isn’t familiar, tithing is offering 10% of what you earn to God- to your church, local ministries, etc. (It’s biblical of course and the Church teaches it doesn’t have to be 10%, but whatever you think is appropriate)
IT IS SO MUCH FUN TO GIVE AWAY MONEY TO GOOD CAUSES!!! It gives me so much joy and now I’m actually looking forward to what causes I’ll donate to next month! Do you guys notice that too?? I guess I can resonate with those groups and people asking for money now.. and realize how much it means to them. So whether or not you’ve ever been in my situation, just try to think of it from their point of view and understand how much it means to them.
So tithing is awesome! Plus it helps keep us from becoming too addicted to our own money. The same way that it’s healthy to pray every day to keep us connected to God throughout the day, tithing helps remind us that our wealth is not actually ours! It’s all God’s and in His generosity He’s given us it. Is money your god or is God your god? That seems easy to answer at first, but think about it.. have there ever been times where you’ve put your financial standing first before God? If so, you might be in danger of committing idolatry of money as your God instead of our Lord. Hard words, but we all need to hear them.
I also can testify that God gives back with abundance what we give Him in donations. I wasn’t doing too hot with my fund raising at first, and was still well below my goal at the time that I first got paid. Well, a week later this was still the case and I was definitely worrying about whether I’d have enough to make it to campus! It was then that I finally got around to tithing that first payment.. and then all of a sudden within the next two or three days I had a few big donors join me and I was in the clear! It was crazy how clearly this stood out to me.. it seemed like I might not make it, and then all of a sudden I had some wiggle room! Praise God, He is generous to generous people!
Thank you so much to all my donors and all those generous people around the world. God is our god, not money 🙂