Last Christmas, Dottie (my wife) and I purchased Christmas gifts for four children at a local elementary school through our church. We had time to talk and determine what we wanted to give, but I have a confession to make; we gave a considerable amount more than what we intended to give. Hear this though: God miraculously provided everything we had pledged to give, and he did it in a very unexpected way.
I have another confession to make. I have had these two hands all my life. I speak metaphorically when I say one hand is a helping hand, and the other hand is an embarrassingly stingy hand. The hand that is very sacrificial and giving is connected directly to my heart. My eyes see a need, empathizes and wants to help out. My giving hand reaches for my wallet.
My brain engages and shouts into my ears, “What are you doing?” At the same time, my brain sends a message to my stingy hand. My stingy hand smacks my giving hand and snatches the wallet from my giving hand. My stingy hand seems to have a tighter grip than my giving hand.
On the one hand, I want to give, and on the other hand, I am concerned I will not have enough for myself. Matthew 6:3-4 instructs us to be liberal givers. But, caution and giving go together. It is Biblical to consider the cost, Luke 14:25-35.
We need to remember that all things belong to God, and we are His stewards. God delights in, and blesses a cheerful giver. Half of me is cheerful and the other half is worried. The Spirit leads you and me to do the right thing. It is never the right time to do the wrong thing, and it is never the wrong time to do the right thing. My wife and I pray about it.
The battle between the brain and the heart, and the left hand and the right hand are real and they need to be waged. Dottie and I pray, talk it over, and collectively decide how much money we can give beyond our tithes and offerings. We sometimes give more than we originally decided, and it is amazing how often God provides and blesses beyond what we imagined.