Posts Tagged ‘stewardship’

Careless Faithfulness

A few weeks ago I was at a fundraising dinner for a community ministry which is near and dear to my heart.  At the end of the evening I felt led by God to give a gift to the ministry.  I joyfully placed my gift into the offering.  I was grateful that I could make the gift.

The next day I received my annual property tax bill.  My property taxes had gone up by 7.5%.  Ouch!  My first thought was in regards to the gift I had given the evening before.  That extra cash would have come in handy.

God was rejoicing while I was fretting.

God loves it when we live with careless faithfulness.

God prefers this over calculated faithfulness or as Oswald Chambers calls it careful infidelity.

In contrast to the generous mercy and grace which God has freely extended to us, most Christians weigh the cost of being faithful.  We are careful not to overextend our time, finances, energy, or selves as we exercise our faith.

While we affirm God’s providence most of us hedge our bets and keep extra grain on the side, just in case God’s providence does not arrive as expected.

When God gave manna to Moses and the freed Hebrew slaves in the wilderness God only gave them enough manna for the day.  If the Hebrews carefully set aside some manna for the next day it spoiled and was not fit for consumption.

Quickly, the Hebrews learned that God would only provide for their daily needs one day at a time.

In America we are hounded to be wise and to save for the rainy day.  I understand this wisdom.  I  continually set aside money for retirement.  However, this wisdom runs contrary to God’s desire that I live with careless faithfulness.

God has covered me on rainy days, yet I still fret and worry.

Careless faithfulness does not come easy for me.

A few days after making my gift and getting my tax bill, I received a gift equal to the gift I had given.

God had everything covered.  I never saw it coming.

Abraham called the place,

the Lord will provide. 

Genesis 22:14


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Faith is the heroic effort of your life,

you fling yourself in reckless confidence on God. (1)


The moment you step out in faith, trusting God, a friend will caution you to be careful and to be reasonable, as he asks, “Have you lost your mind?”

My response has become:  “I have not lost my mind, but I have relinquished my will!”

Losing your mind is easier than releasing your will.

At the age of 73, while scrimping by on a fixed pension and social security, Pat told her husband, Ray, that God recently spoke to her.  Rolling his eyes, Ray asked, “What did He tell you?”

Pat explained that God told her that she and Ray needed to started tithing, giving away 10% of their income to God’s ministry through the church.  Ray laughed, explaining that to do so would be impossibly foolish since they were barely making ends meet while not giving to the church.

Pat thought that with a sacrifice here and there, they could do it.  Ray’s response was, “Do what you wish, but I am not giving up anything, especially my Steelers’ tickets!”

A year later Pat came to Ray and said, “God spoke to me last night.”  As he did the year before Ray rolled his eyes and asked what she heard.

Pat reported, “God wants us to give 15% of our income away this year!”  

Poised to laugh and make fun of such a crazy idea, Ray paused and realized that if God was asking for more this year, then Pat must have given away 10% of their income the year before.

Ray looked at her and said, “You could not have given away 10% last year, I did not notice anything different!  I had everything I wanted.”

Pat smiled and said, “No, you did not make any sacrifices!  Yes, we did give 10% away last year.”

I did not meet Pat till she was 77.  She and Ray were then giving 25% of their annual income to God’s ministry through the church.

Pat’s faith and generous trust in God inspired a church to build a medical clinic for the poor in Africa.  This is something she would have never been able to do.  Her heroic faith inspired others who did.

“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” (2)

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  1. Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest : Selections for the Year (Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House Publishers, 1993).
  2. The Holy Bible: English Standard Version (Wheaton: Standard Bible Society, 2001), Isaiah 12:2.

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