Sitting through what must have been the 15th Zoom meeting this month already, I tried hard to concentrate on what was being shared. Brothers in Christ were sharing, teaching, and encouraging one another during our weekly Building My Footprint for God small group study. Although this is a beta class, the learning is very real. As we work through the guide each week, our friendly group is trying to find ways where we can enhance the material to better aid others in learning. Christians must learn the important lessons of stewardship and building a lasting legacy.
Wait, what did Reverend Raymond say? Oh, I like that; “Time, Talent, and Treasury.” I’ve got to remember that one. A few minutes later, while listening to the podcast, I heard it again. Okay Lord, I’m listening. Nearing the end of this week’s study, Mr. Kenn said it again; “Giving, in its purest form, is much more than reaching into your wallet. It’s sharing all the blessings God has provided in your life with others by gifting them from your time, talents, or treasury.”
I’ve heard this phrase used many times through the years, and almost always in church settings. I guess I wrote it off as “Christian-ease.” No one else talks of lofty things like giving to others from the storehouse of blessings God has given us. Used three times within 45 minutes, there’s something I need to understand about this phrase. When that happens, what do you do? For me, I realize it’s time for a Father-son talk.
Lord, help me better understand what the guys were trying to say. Why is this phrase an earworm? I’ve got medical procedures, oral surgery, quarterly reports to file, a thousand things to get done; why this? Why now Father? Please help me understand what I need to learn today Lord. With that brief prayer, I could get on with my day. My “To Do” list, with things I need to accomplish in the next six days has grown to 46 items. How am I ever going to get all this done by next Monday?What are some ways you give your worries over to God? Click To Tweet
Even though I’ve shared my heart’s questions and needs with God, my OCD-equipped mind continues to process thoughts in the background as I go about my day. Checking things off my list, I pause at lunch and jot down a few verses that have popped into my head. James 1:17, Mark 12:41-44, 1 Timothy 5:8, 2 Corinthians 9:6, Luke 6:38. Yes Lord, I promise to look at these more this evening. God has written some of these on my heart, and I recall them easily. I’ve learned in this life that even though I know something, there is always more I can learn about it.
While my mind continued to process thoughts in the background, I completed the day and readied myself for bed. “Don’t forget that Post-It note” ran through my thoughts. Where did that come from? It’s from lunchtime today; thanks Lord. Turning the light in my den back on, I walked to the kitchen to recover my scribbled notes. Opening my Bible, I read each verse.
With the lesson on creating a lasting legacy of generosity and giving, God took the time to help me internalize and apply His word to my life. In doing so, He showed me that while I give from the “Three Ts of Giving”, I don’t always do it with a cheerful heart. At the turn of the century, I was among the few employees at a wireless telecommunications startup. Living on venture capital investment, we were beyond frugal, which fit my philosophy of trying to squeeze five quarters out of every dollar just fine. OPM, Other Peoples Money, was something I had always treated as more precious than my own.
In considering the 3Ts, I looked at each one.
- Time: How often do I give of my time to bless others? Can I do more? Do I always give my time cheerfully or do I grumble and complain? Do I think I’m taking from myself instead of sharing the gift of a prolonged life God has given me?
- Talent: God has blessed me with some writing gifts, exhortation, the gift of helps, and many others. How do I use these gifts to bless others? I pray daily my writing, speaking, and most importantly my actions show how important Christ is in my life.
- Treasury: How do I bless others through financial means? Do I use more of it to bless my family, friends, and support God’s work in this world than I hoard for myself? Yes, financial security is important, but not more important than my eternal security. I know my soul is safe for eternity through my salvation. Yet, I understand my works here in this world will determine the gifts I have to lie at my Savior’s feet one day. I can’t stand the thought of standing empty-handed before the Lord following my judgment.
God showed me a need to change my mindset from “What do I give Lord?” to one of “What should I keep?” It becomes easier to apply the three Ts of giving when I realize everything I have comes from God. I’m not taking from me, I’m giving from God. He has never failed to meet my need; and I am supposed to be a good steward of all His blessings. I pray something from this post might help you look at how you give to God and you find giving a more cheerful experience.