A few months ago I pledged a certain sum of money to my church because I was certain God had asked me to give; I did not follow through on that pledge. The night I made that pledge I wrote in my journal, “Tonight I pledged $xx to the church’s new fundraising initiative. It actually won’t be that hard to give the money.” That money was due 1 month ago today and I still haven’t turned in a check.
On the way home from a meeting tonight God nudged me and asked, “Remember when you trusted Me? Remember those 18 months after I asked you to quit your job, when I supported you and your family? Remember how much fun we had together and what an adventure it was, not knowing what was coming next but knowing that you were with Me? What happened?”
What happened was that I stopped being wise and started being smart. The smart money says to save every penny you can after 18 months of unemployment because you never know what will happen next. The smart money says that you can get carried away with generosity at church fundraisers (even when you know it was God asking, not the pastor). The smart money says to look out for myself first; God doesn’t need my money.
And God doesn’t need my money. But tithing and giving has never been about the money. It has always been a method through which God frees us from our addiction to our own destructive ends, our obsessive need to achieve, earn, and acquire. Wise money realizes that at the end of my life I won’t regret giving money to the kingdom on earth because I’ve stored up treasure in the heavenly kingdom. Wise money is obedient, not selfish or greedy. Wise money says to look out for others first; God doesn’t need my money but he wants my heart.