Confessions of a Stingy Person…

I don’t know how you hear these stories.

Supposedly, when I was an infant, this little old lady visited my house and leaned over the bassinette and declared “his ears are close to his head; he is going to be stingy.”

Well, she prophesied correctly.

Over the years I have definitely been that way.  Giving gifts if not one of my prime love languages and I admit it.   Over the years I have been a little hesitant to give things away.

However, I am surrounded by gift givers.

My wife is very generous.  Recently she received 5 graduating senior announcements and she is giving the kids generous gifts.   She is very insistent on our tithe going to church every Sunday.  When some animal organization calls, she often donates.  When a missionary comes to church, she gives.  When there is a Relay-for-Life ACS benefit, she gives.  The list goes on and on.  She is a gift giver.

I used to get agitated.  I am sure my blood pressure went up as I knew she was giving away our hard-earned money.

Now, I detect that I am slowly beginning to change.

God is going to take care of my wife and myself.  I know that.  He will give us enough money to live on and we have more than we need right now.

Recently at church, I taught several lessons on mission work in Sunday School.  My Sunday School class took the lessons literally.  They wanted to support Costa Rican children through a feeding program entitled “Fishes and Loaves.”  For $30, you can feed 1 child for 1 month.  The class treasurer and I said, let’s shoot for 10 children for a month which would be $300.  We were a little nervous.  We started taking up funds in January and we had until mid-May to get to $300.

By mid-May, we had $1290.00, enough to feed 43 kids a month.  Our class is not a big class.

What a gift.

This is happening a lot at St. John.

We have a man who is collecting cans and scrap metal for funding things at church.  He started shooting for an electronic sign in front and someone stepped up and bought the sign in total.  He started shooting for an internal television message system and someone stepped up and bought that.

Gifts…

The United Methodist Men have been reinvigorated and they have given hours to a family whose father is in hospice care.  The men have cleaned up the yard for this man.  Also on the menu is a ramp for another church member who cannot get into the house easily.  The giving continues…

We have a pastor who went to Micah Mission Center and a man walked in with large shoes.  The shoes had no bottoms.  You could see his feet.  She bought him some shoes right there on the spot.   This same woman has given our whole church a media subscription for 1 year.  This is over $100 per month for 1 year.  From her paycheck…her giving amazes me.

Someone in our neighborhood asked me to do a favor for them and I did it for no pay and to my knowledge they have not noticed that the work is done.  I have received no thanks but that’s ok.  The woman who asked me has her hands full with a husband who is very ill.   The fact that the work got done is all that matters.

Thursday a neighbor asked me

to loan him my truck.  I did it.  You might think that is no big deal, but remember, I’m the kid with the ears close to his head.

This morning I sent words of encouragement to a man who is leading a committee at church.  He is feeling a little ill-at-ease with his new responsibility but I want him to know that I think he can do the work.  He can.  He just needs encouragement.

What is happening?

Maybe I am changing…I don’t know.

My wife’s generosity is not making me as agitated as it used to.  I honor her efforts.  I think she is right in helping others.  I am growing to admire her trust in the Lord as she gives what God has given us to others—others who have real needs.  God will honor her giving.  God will honor our giving.

Maybe I am beginning to understand James 1:17  “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”

God gives us all good gifts.

I don’t think He wants us to horde what we have.

He wants us to share; he wants us to care for others; he wants us to give gifts.

Maybe this is an improvement for a boy born with his ears too close to his head.

We’ll see…

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