At some point on this blog, I’m probably going to write about every single one of my character flaws and discuss how I should be better.
Today, I must admit that I’m stingy.
But I need to be better.
My only recreational expenses are my weekly pack of Trident gum and an occasional fast food meal.
I cringe every time I have to write a check.
I hate getting gas in my car because it makes me feel like I’m going bankrupt.
If someone offers to pay for my meal, I don’t insist that I pay. I just watch them take the check and say, “Thank you.”
I am a modern Ebenezer Scrooge.
Yes, I am a tightfisted old man—and I haven’t even gone off to college yet.
I hate spending money. If I could, I would save every penny that I earn or receive.
But what good would a bank account full of money do?
Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
My penny-pinching behaviors make no sense, but I continue to pinch pennies nonetheless.
I have been generous and thoughtful—but only while a mental war occurred.
When I bought my friend lunch for her birthday, all I could think about was the cost of her meal. When I had to get a pedicure with my friend, all I could think about was how broke I’d be the next week. When I bought my friend a graduation gift, all I could think about was the effect it would have on my wallet.
Money doesn’t grow on trees. You know that.
College is expensive. A house is expensive. A car is expensive.
Life is expensive.
Sure, you can save some money by limiting your meals out, shopping at thrift stores, and becoming an extreme coupon-er; but even then, you’ll still have a long list of payments.
You can’t escape from life’s expensive expenses.
But you can learn to manage them.
I can’t use the fact that I’m a student with a limited income as an excuse not to give. The Bible doesn’t let me off the hook from giving, so I have to push myself to give.
I found the article “How to Be Ready for Random Acts of Kindness” from Crosswalk.com helpful for practical giving. The Stewardship.com Team points out that “[s]ometimes being generous calls for more than a compassionate heart and kind word; sometimes it requires you to dig into your pockets and put some money on the table.” The Team encourages readers to look at their budgets, choose a few categories to limit, combine the money they save from their limitations, and look for opportunities to give that saved money.
These steps are geared toward people like me, but they can apply to all areas of giving—not just random acts of kindness.
Perhaps you want to regularly give to a Christian organization like Samaritan’s Purse or Persecution Project. Maybe you want to make a donation, like funding a teen in your church to go to mission camp or spending a few hundred dollars to repair your neighbor’s leaky sink.
All I know is this:
“You shall generously give to him, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this thing the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all your undertakings.” (Deuteronomy 15:10 NASB).
This verse was meant for everyone.
But it really seems to apply to Ebenezer Scrooges like me.
Honestly, my heart is grieved when I give.
But it shouldn’t be.
My generosity doesn’t go unnoticed; and neither does yours. If you lend money to a needy friend, pay for your elderly neighbor’s medicine, or donate to a mission organization, God will know.
And He will bless you for it.
Maybe your needy friend, the elderly neighbor, or the mission organization doesn’t notice your generosity, but God does.
And He will bless you for it.