This is a story of the emotions of money; of the fear, the elation, the bliss and the dread. This is a true story as are all of my posts, a courageous spilling of text that may impact or puzzle the reader. I must warn that this story will reveal my upbringing…a member of a congregation driven by fear of God and every misstep I might take. A childhood that led to many years of “can I truly ever be good enough for God?” Many a young person is influenced in this way so they run like the devil from that fear and then find God and know how good it feels to stay on a grace-filled path.
So, there’s a fine line between obedience and compliance for fear of retribution. Retribution, the word itself is scary! It’s also not consistent with God…our God of love, not of fear.
So, here’s my story of obedience driven by desire to please, not by fear; the desire to be in God’s will, simply because it feels really good to be there.
Last Sunday I had no checks, I wasn’t going to my home church, and I had lots of extra expenses. I could have easily said, “I’ll tithe extra next time or I’ll find some place to donate”. But,I didn’t. I went by the bank and withdrew cash and slipped it in my wallet. When the offering plate passed the members all dropped their neatly folded and name labeled envelopes in the plate and I placed my folded cash tucked into an envelop with no name…a gift to God.
I sat later balancing my checkbook, looking at extra expenses that somehow have all ended up in April and I realized I had little to tide me over. Yet, still felt such a sense of assurance that my choice to tithe was good. I would have to postpone one payment.
I’m thinking you know what happened…I found money, discovered a miscalculation…whatever you want to call it. I was elated. I was floating. I was blessed.
God rewarded my sincere and genuine obedience…not obedience derived from fear, dread or criticism. Obedience because of knowing where I want to be…close to God, waiting expectantly for His blessings.
I have just enough, yet so much more with God.