Friday, August 19, 2011

Attitude of Gratitude

Coming from a place where I am tired of cliches, the title of this entry (as with some cliches) is a means for us all to remember. There are times in all of our lives we could have lived without having to go through them and how many times have each of us wanted to turn back the hands of time, but with all of those issues came experience and a means by which we can teach the younger generation for them not to go through the same things but to have a better life. After all, we couldn't be where we are without those going ahead before us.

Now there are those that have the mind set of, I got mine the best way I knew how so you have to get yours. Those are the ones that don't have it so easy and are jealous of the ones that do. Stay away from them. It is a warning. They can drain the blessing right out of you. I remind you of Lot and Abraham. It was Abraham that had his faith tested. It was Abraham that finally was blessed with a son and had to believe that God was going to provide a ram. It was Abraham that had to be obedient and move away from his kinfolk (Genesis 12:1-4 KJV). Lot had nothing to do with all of that action yet he was right there to receive all of the blessing. When Abraham left King Abimelech's palace, he walked away with more then what he came with and Lot got some too (Genesis 20:14-16 KJV). How do I know? When Lot and Abraham separated, they also separated the possessions. Did the Word tell us that Lot came with anything?

I am finding that the church does teach for us to be givers and I suppose it has not been taught to the point of exhaustion because there are still those that believe that the church is trying to take from the congregants all of their financial gain. It is just not the case. Giving to be a blessing to others is a means for us to be more like God (John 3:16 KJV). So when one tells me that he/she can give on their own to be a blessing without having to keep pouring their money into the church, I would have to disagree (Malachi 3:8-11 KJV). Because the world has separated church and state, we have more of a reason to give to the church simply because we are one with Christ and not the government. The government makes sure that he will get his portion of any financial income you have. He takes it right from the top. Personally, that use to frustrate me especially if I wanted to give to the Lord first. Well, there is a way to make that happen even before the government can touch your check. Look at the gross of the check and give the percentage from that. This action is giving before the hands of anyone has touched it.

Second, if the government takes that percentage from your check and you are not fighting against it, why then do you show opposition with the tenth (tithe)? I can understand that there are some ministries that don't seem to know when to stop passing the offering plate around in one service, but it doesn't take away from your decision to give a specific amount and be done with it. No guilt. No pressure. No stress.

I think many of us lose out on our blessing because of that constant offering plate. It seems like there is an offering for everything and all at once. Take notice of how you feel every time you have to open your wallet, write another check, or make a notation of another debit from the credit card. How pleased are you? If agitated, then how pleased is God with your giving (2 Corinthians 9:7 AMP)? Is it the offering plate being passed around so many times or are you getting worried that your giving is going to cause a deficit somewhere else (Matthew 6:24-26 KJV)?

Honestly, I look at my financial giving like this: I have made a plan and made it plain. This is the amount I will give each month in my tithes and offering. This is the amount that will go into this area of the household, insurance, car, miscellaneous expenses and etcetera. This is called a budget and God will honor that. No one knows the vision God has given you. So why do you allow for people to convince you to take from that plan? The agitation that you feel by giving again and again and again is what you allowed place in your life (Ephesians 4:27 KJV). That agitation is stealing from your Kingdom Life. Let this be the recognition point: if your peace is troubled, stop and recall when you lost it. Agitation, frustration, depression, oppression, confusion, irritation, aggravation, with the outcome being grumbling, complaining, arguing, fighting, disrupting is proof of the enemy getting over on you. You have the victory so let that be.

Once you begin to realize that you are not getting in God's good graces by giving away what He has blessed you with to pay your bills, life will become so much easier for you and you will be able to appreciate more of the messages that go forth from the podium without resentment. Volunteering of your time and talent will also become easier and the church will benefit from you receiving this understanding as a son of God rather than a child being influenced by every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:14 KJV).

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