Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

28 August 2008

Maybe the Government doesn't read much Malachi

I got a lovely, personalized, handwritten letter on flowered notepaper from my dear friend "THE GOVERNMENT" last week. OK so it maybe it was a generic, "Dear Mr. D Carrol" letter from Revenue Canada digging into my taxes. Same deal.

The Government is making me prove that I actually gave what I claimed to give last year! Isn't that awesome? I've fallen into the "that CAN'T be right" irregularly file! In fact... when I got the letter telling me how much I had to prove I gave in 2007... I even wanted to double check to make sure those numbers were right.

I got the calculator out and started running percentages compared to our income and almost had a heart attack! To be honest I panicked a bit initially, wondering how we keep tunafish in the cupboards! Ha. The first thing that dropped into my mind was that... "this faith life I've chosen to live better have a good retirement plan". Thankfully it does... but still makes you gulp deep sometimes.

I debated writing this blog because I don't want to come off as tooting my own horn. But giving has been a stretching process for me and it's SUCH an integral part of the faith life. We believe without apology in tithing... AND giving... AND offerings. We tithe to Freedom House. We give to other charities like Compassion Canada. We also are prepared to give extra when God leads. We've chosen to be people who are, as our pastor Brian Beattie says "generous on all occasions".

In fact one of Freedom House's core values is...

"Extravagant Giving. In all areas of life (time/talent/treasures) we will exemplify the character of our extravagantly giving God"

Think about that. God LAVISHES on us. If the only thing He did for us was give us Jesus. It would be extravagant. But He doesn't stop there. I believe that without living a lifestyle of generosity with our time, our talent and our money... we can't really properly interact with God. Not only because we "get Him" a little more, but it also positions us to receive as well. Being "suspiciously generous" means I KNOW that I can't get by without God's hand. God gave man everything we need (access to the Kingdom's wealth) and then commissioned us to take care of this world. But it's only through being submissiveness that we get the keys to the gate.

I've been thinking a lot about Matthew 5:5 where Jesus says...

"Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth"

Meekness gets a bad rap. It sometimes seems to be a missing personally trait in those who influence the world the most. But listen to some of the meek definitions

1. humble in spirit or manner
2. Overly submissive or compliant
3. Showing patience and humility
4. Easily imposed on.

If you say the words, "In response to God I'm..." before any of those statements, they are desirable qualities. The more you walk the path of the being generous on every occasion... you (almost without realizing it's happening) become molded into someone who will respond to people's need without thinking twice about your own well-being. Because MY well-being is entirely dependent on God being God.

It's a cliche... but it's true. You can never out-give God.


Anonymous said...

Good stuff, Dave! I especially like the reminder that we give "unapologetically"; I'm sick of hearing people pussy-foot around what God has demanded of us... Giving is a way of life that too many people are feeling justified in abandoning. When you look at the blessings we all have, it's quite disheartening when folks take even a bit of it for granted. I pray every day for reminders of all I've been blessed with, so I don't fall into that trap (or at least, not too often!)

This is the first time I've checked out your blog, but I will definitely do so in the future!

Dave Carrol said...

Hey thanks.

I actually think it's fascinating that it's the one area that God lets us test him.

Giving just keeps you humble. My wife's always been a much better giver than me. I used to dred when missionaries would come through church. She's be handing over college tuition! I'd sit there squirming thinking of excuses...

but I've learned over the year to always have on open hand and heart to people and give give give. It comes back in so many ways... including friendship

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