So……as awesome as this blog has been for my faith journey, I need to admit some epic fails on my part.  I mean, I am trying, but probably similar to some of you, just because I declare something, doesn’t mean I actually understand all the necessary steps that go into it.  And, probably like many of you, I am learning.  I did not come into this as a Bible scholar, quite the contrary.  I have come into this new found love of Jesus (which is still a little uncomfortable to say, I am embarrassed to admit) after spending a good 24 years practicing how not to live like or love Jesus.

The Bible has a lot to say, and God has a lot of transforming to do in this girl’s life.

And, truthfully, money is a real falling off point for me.  There is a reason it is mentioned over 800 times in the Bible.  Thank you Financial Peace website.  I am guessing it is because we will probably struggle with our worship of money more than any other idol.  There are two things about money that make it especially difficult, I believe.

  1. Money tends to be very logical.  One dollar plus one dollar equals 2 dollars.  There is no question about that.  And, when you do a budget or even when you don’t, it’s clear when you have money in the bank and when you don’t.  If you get paid $2000 per month and your bills total $2500, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist for any of us to realize that there is going to be some sort of issue.  So, when it comes to God and trusting Him with our money, it’s hard.  Logically, it does not make sense, some might even call it stupid, to continue to give God his 10% when your budget says otherwise.
  2. I equate money with security.  “If we only had this much or if we paid off that or if we could just get our income up to this, I would feel secure.”  Thus, I cling to money like a child clings to their favorite toys.  Mine, mine, mine!  In fear and probably in greed, I see our money and gather it all up (again, imagine the toy pile) into my pile for safe keeping, for when I need it, because I need it, because if I have enough money and if I keep control of it, I will feel secure.  I can trust money.  It’s logical.  It’s dependable.

So, one of my many epic fails thus far is in the area of tithing.  Do not be fooled, I have failed many, many, many, many other times and virtually every day.  But I can only cover so much in one blog post, right?

Day 7 was called Commit to my church.   I wrote about the importance or at least my commitment to tithing. The last words of that post were, “We are cheerful givers.”

Wwwweeeellllll……That was true, until it seemed we had too much month at the end of our paycheck.   You certainly can’t give God 10% if you don’t have it, right?  Like I paid all my bills and there wasn’t any money left.  I’m sure God can see that and I am sure he understands.  If it means we will struggle to make our mortgage payment, I certainly can’t trust God to provide for that, right?  There does have to be some logic here.  2 + 2 is always 4 and I’m not going to change that by being faithful, right?

Insert buzzer sound….EEEEEEE.  Wrong answer.  Nope, that’s not right.

I didn’t quite get it.  So, somewhere over the summer, I began feeling insecure about our money and if we would have enough to do whatever it is we need to do.  Like my little Eli protecting his toys from his sister, I gathered all that money up into my pile and began protecting it against any and all “unnecessary” spending.

Clamp down.  Save the money.  You can’t give God what you don’t have.

And, like every other year, I felt no more secure, no more at peace, no better about our financial situation.  Ahhhhh!   I knew something was wrong.  Something just kept telling me I needed to do something different.  Keeping the money, depending on the money, did not feel good.  It felt terrifying.

Finally, on day when I was walking on the trail I stumbled upon a sermon on Life Church TV by Robert Morris (http://www.lifechurch.tv/watch/multiply-2013/1).   Listen to it.

I was convicted.  God deserves to be paid first.  He has entrusted me with the money.  His purposes are the most important.  How do you feel when someone gives you what they have leftover?  And how do you feel when they make a point to give you something special?

So when I do my “budget” (this a theoretical thing…more something that is in my head.  I LOVE Dave Ramsey.  I am seriously a groupie.  However, my obedience to his little plan is, well, let’s just say it needs some work.)  Anyways, when I do my “budget”, the mortgage company and my clothing budget and our cable company should not come before God.

God gets the first check now.  Forgive me.  I am learning.  Trying to hold onto the money was terrifying, but releasing it to God was freeing, peaceful, liberating.

Weird.

God is so smart.

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