Astros World Series tickets. The iPhone 11 or is it 12 now? That upgrade to our house. That new car. Just a few of the things we’ve convinced ourselves that we need. Time after time we confuse desires with necessities, convincing ourselves that what we want is what we need.
This is part of why when we were asked to share our story of grace about being generous, we cringed at the thought. We give but we often do so begrudgingly. We give but often not with giving hearts. We give but never with the courage of the widow who faithfully gave all without hesitation.
It is in facing these truths about our ungracious hearts that we ask God to graciously remind us that we aren’t bound by a callous rule that forces us to give away 10 percent of what we own. Rather our generous God allows us to keep almost all of what we’re given.
We’re also reminded that open-handed living is not solely about financial giving but about giving of our time, resources, and comfort. For example, God has called us to open our home, the home that he graciously gave, so that when strangers enter, because of God’s grace, we can genuinely say, “welcome home” knowing that one day we will be welcomed to our promised forever home.
Many years ago we were struggling with infertility and didn’t know how to both continue tithing and pay for fertility treatment, so we approached our pastor for practical counsel. As is often the case with wise counsel, we didn’t get what we were expecting. Rather than tell us that we definitely needed to continue tithing or tell us that we could definitely take a hiatus, our pastor told us this:
“God doesn’t want your money. He wants your heart. God doesn’t need your money. He needs your heart.”
Our family today is a direct result of those infertility treatments. While we were focused on a fraction of our monthly income, God was focused on giving us one of the greatest joys of our lives—demonstrating to us that his generosity always surpasses even our highest imaginations, which is why we place a high priority on engaging in the struggle of giving.