There’s a secret about being stingy that I don’t want to share.
Because it makes me feel like a wimpy Christian.
Simply put, a lack of generosity shows a lack of trust in God’s provision.
There. I said it. The secret’s out.
I am stingy because I don’t fully rely on God to provide for me.
I place too much emphasis on my bank account. I am a hoarder when it comes to money. I don’t want to give or even tithe, though it’s silly when I really think about it. My money isn’t even mine, yet I save it like it is. But it belongs to God, and He could take every penny from me if He wanted to.
Obviously, I treasure my money too much.
I do not rely on God to provide for me; I rely on me to provide for me.
But the widow at Zarephath relied on God.
Then the word of the Lord came to him [Elijah], saying, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there; behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” So he arose and went to Zarephath, and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, “Please get me a little water in a jar, that I may drink.” As she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a piece of bread in your hand.” But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.” Then Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son. For thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain on the face of the earth.’” So she went and did according to the word of Elijah, and she and he and her household ate for many days. The bowl of flour was not exhausted nor did the jar of oil become empty, according to the word of the Lord which He spoke through Elijah. (1 Kings 17:8-16 NASB)
This story is very convicting. First, Elijah had to trust that God would provide food for him. Then, the widow at Zarephath had to trust that God would provide food for her.
If a stranger came to your house, asked you for food, and told you that God would provide you with more food, would you believe him?
If saving up all of “your” money is more important than giving it back to God, it’s too important.
And it’s an idol.
You don’t need to give all the money you earn to mission organizations or to homeless shelters.
But you need to be willing.
So what if a stranger came to your house, asked for everything you owned, and said the last cent you had wouldn’t really be the last cent you had? Would you believe him? Would you give him everything?
Honestly, I wouldn’t. My heart needs to be molded and shaped by the Holy Spirit in order for me to completely surrender that to the Lord.
What about you? Would you follow the example of Elijah and the widow? Or would you cling to your money like me and Ebenezer Scrooge? I hope you can rely on God enough to give with open hands and a happy heart. ❤