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Give It Up

by Don Current on April 20, 2011

photo of Cross

photo courtesy Ian Britton

It’s Easter time. Visions of chocolate bunnies and baskets full of sweet goodness fill the minds of many children. The thoughts of the more mature among us turn toward something a little more eternal. This is also the time where many people of faith give up something meaningful (or not) in observance of Lent. Personally, this is something I’ve never done, although I do see the merits of it. Some people will even take the money they would have spent on say coffee or chocolate which they are giving up, and then donate that money to their church or some other worthy cause. That is something I can definitely get on board with.

As I said, I have never taken part in this practice, and that includes this year. My family is about to make a change to that though. It is obviously too late to take part in the full 40 day period of Lent, but I have felt a challenge to do something more than we have been doing.

I have previously written about the importance of charitable giving as part of a healthy financial plan. That is something I have always practiced. More than 10% (the traditional tithe) of our gross income has always gone to our church and other ministries. Over this past week, I have felt a strong challenge that it’s not enough though. We are not truly being stretched by this.

My thoughts go to the woman mentioned in Luke 21 and Mark 12. This woman gave all she had to live on. I found this very convicting. I look around my home at all the comforts we have. Sure, things have been much tighter since the closing of my factory in 2009, but we’re nowhere near poverty. We are still truly blessed.

I’ve discussed it with my family, and we have decided to follow the example set by this woman. We are going to take our entire next paycheck and give that money. It’s going to mean severely cutting our expenses for a couple of weeks, and probably tapping into the emergency fund we have in order to cover the things we just absolutely can’t do without. I just feel very strongly lead to do this right now and I’m going to trust that God has something in mind for this even if that just means some personal growth on our part.

Obviously not everyone is in a position to do this. I would never advocate you missing a payment owed to someone else. That money is not yours to give in the first place. And you absolutely MUST have an emergency fund in place before considering a step this big.

Perhaps you can take a smaller step though. Maybe you can give something smaller up and do something special with that money. If you truly do this from the heart, I guarantee the rewards will be great. It will truly give you a proper perspective on the place money should hold in our lives.

In this season where we celebrate the ultimate sacrifice our Lord made for us, is this too much to do in return? What are you willing to give up?