Wednesday, March 16, 2016
"Stingy Give or Receive" - 03/16/16 - Deuteronomy 14-16
"Give freely and spontaneously. Don't have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God's, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures." (15:10-11)
What am I stingy with? Whom am I stingy towards?
Surprisingly, it used to be food. Rather certain kinds - the "good" stuff.
I can remember hiding some foods when the boys were young so I wouldn't have to share. How old was I? What a lesson I taught them. Fortunately, they didn't take after me in that way. It was through the blessing of my sister in Christ, Teresa, I have learned the art (and joy) of sharing food. I can remember when we first began to share life, she was also into sharing our plates of food. It was a big learning lesson for me when she would reach over and take from my plate some of the "good food". It didn't matter she was willing to share hers, I didn't want to share. I had a stingy heart.
I love to cook, have people over. I love to eat at restaurants and try something new or have the old standby. But, I didn't like sharing what was on "my" plate.
Through our ABBA, I came to realize, "You know I love you, if I share my "good" food with you."
We enjoy having people in His home. For the past eight years, almost every Wednesday night, our Bible study "family" has met here. I love doing for others who are easy to love. To give to. Well, most others. Some persons I feel are more about abusing the system and I become judgmental. I really struggled with helping these persons out. I even thought I was sharing pretty well in my time, gifts, money, talents.
And then I noticed, just as He did with Teresa about sharing my "good food", He was bringing into my life those I really was being stingy with. He opened my eyes to look at them through His. Most of those I was being judgmental about (and I was) didn't want or need the "stuff", they had a God void within them. And He wants to use me as His Vessel in introducing them to Him so it may be filled.
It isn't about the "good food" or the "stuff". It is all about "Him".
I also came to realize being "stingy" can be both in giving and receiving. He opened my eyes to see I was being "stingy" in accepting blessings because of self pride/control. As long as I didn't accept the blessing, no one knew I was in need. I had everything under control. In 1990 when I was diagnosed with my disease, all the medical expenses completely broke us. Even though we were working at two, three jobs, we had to go on food stamps. One Christmas we were a Good News family. There wasn't any extra money and how God used this time to work me over. My eyes were opened wide to the fact - I am not in control of anything.
Over the years since, He has blessed us so much in all ways. Our business, the home He is allowing us to live in. We don't drive the fancy cars, live in a mansion on a hilltop, hobnob at all the fancy places, but we are so rich. Looking back I see now, we always have been. He always provides our needs. Physical and Spiritual.
Because of His great love, I realize so many are in the position of where they are at due to makings they have no control over. I so desire to please Him, share blessings to bring glory to Him.
He has taught me to live each day as though it were my last. During these past years, He has helped me to become thankful for my disease. It has set my priorities. We are all dying - and need to take advantage of each moment - it may be the last one. He has shown me what a blessing and joy it is to not be "stingy" and has taught me to accept blessings. Every time I begin to say, "no thank you", I can hear Him tell me, "Deby, by not accepting this blessing they have for you, you are preventing them from receiving a blessing from giving".
All our money, this home, our business, our equipment, furnishings, clothes, even the "good" food - belongs to Him. It's not even partially mine. I love the freedom He has given me in seeing this. I am just His worker. I don't have to wear the yoke of ownership. He takes care of it all. My job is to be a good steward.
To give blessings out to all people. To accept blessings from all people.
To live this life not being "stingy".