1. Sandy – spot on! I couldn’t have written it any better. I started obeying God and handing over my finances to Him back in 1996… over the past, close to two decades, with two bouts of unemployment, I’ve never been in need, been blessed beyond my imagination, and continue to experience the joy in giving… I LOVE giving! Some days I stop and think, how did God transform me in such a way… miracle!

    1. Oh, I’m pretty sure you could have written it better! 🙂 What a great testimony to God’s faithfulness. It’s really cool that God sustains during times of financial uncertainty. Thank you for chiming in, girl.

  2. I left a rather lengthy comment via my phone while in the Dr’s waiting room earlier today. Sigh. Now I have to try and recreate it. So any lack of wittiness can be blamed on the fact that all my wit was used up the first time. Kay?

    Many years ago, in our first ever small group, one couple was struggling financially. Someone else in the group suggested we take up an offering of cash and gift cards to bless them. Another couple in the group informed us all that they wouldn’t be contributing, and tried to sway the rest of us. They believed that the couple in trouble was in it by their own fault – through poor money management and debt – and that us ‘bailing them out’ would not be holding them accountable to take care of their own problems.

    Most of us gave anyway. We gave more than we could reasonable afford to give. We gave because we, too, were not very responsible with our money and we understood. We gave because God reminded us that He is our ‘bail out’ for all of our screw ups; He doesn’t hold us accountable for most of what He should.

    Today, I do my best to listen to that nudge, regardless of my own thoughts or opinions (or those of others). Frankly, it’s none of my business what someone does with the gift I give them. Correction – it’s none of my business what someone does with the gift GOD gives them through me. God’s the giver. And if they spend it on booze, or a vacation, or some other foolish way, that’s His problem to worry about.

    1. I totally agree with E. Tyler here. Or do I just call you E? 🙂 I decided I would rather be “taken” than to not follow that urge to give when I was presented with a need. Was it legitimate? I try to stay away from asking this question.

      Sandy; this is something that touches me deeply and I really hope I am a generous person. I have made some mistakes with money and have learned alot over the years which I try to share with others although I am surprised that not many people really want much input. I have asked God to never let me count up what I have given; for I know I would respond inappropriately with pride. Sometimes I have asked God to not let me call to mind these type of things often for I do not want to take pride in them. I really have no idea how God chooses to bless me in response to our giving….. perhaps it is in vehicles that are old but continue to run without much maintenance required; or a home that’s paid off and does not cost alot to run; or perhaps sometimes it is direct. I know our family is blessed by a son who came back from war safe in all ways; two daughters one who is a teacher and one seeking to be one who both have a heart to help others. Blessed by a family who all have trusted in our Lord. Beyond that it’s all icing… 🙂

      I do want to make an impact through giving; with my resources, with my time, and with my prayers. I count it a privilege if I can step in a gap and help someone anonymously through a tough time.

      1. Mark, I am also humbled by your response. As I sat down to write this post, I was trying to come up with real life examples without thinking highly of myself and all the money or things we’ve given. What a great attitude you have. I want a heart like that. 🙂

    2. Tyler: I have been in that situation before and have not acted as graciously as you did. It’s difficult to know at times if our gift of money is truly the best way to meet the need. Maybe a gift of money would enable irresponsible behavior and do more harm than good. Maybe what someone needs instead of money is a person who will walk with them and teach them how to budget and how to save and how to say “no” when they want something–not in a judgmental way, but in a discipleship way. To me, that is so much more difficult to do than writing a check or pulling some bills out of my wallet. It takes time and patience and you can’t do it anonymously.

      That’s why it’s so important to get to know the voice of God and be obedient to His leading, I think.

      Good discussion. 🙂

  3. My grandfather used to quote Psalm 27:35. Before I could learn to read and found it in the Bible, I thought he was talking about himself. Looking back over his life during the time I knew him, he probably was. It is a sweet memory for me, even if it isn’t an answer to your question.

  4. Hi Sandy,
    I was avoiding reading this post. Cause I am normally an “easy” giver. I just give. But for the last few months I have been afraid. And I don’t know why….our financial situation hasn’t changed. We aren’t struggling with a huge debt or an uncertain future. But I was suddenly reluctant to write those 26 tithe cheques for 2013, or give to friends going on missions, or throw an extra $20 into the pot for whatever cause. I don’t really know what happened. I guess I should talk to God about it. Yet I’m afraid of what He’s gonna have to say…..

    As for your question – when I give I don’t worry about what is done with my money. I know God will honor my obedience regardless of what comes of it. If I feel a nudge to give, I should obey. I should not let my doubts get in the way. (This is my attitude in general, not the last few months…) A few years ago I was chatting with a woman in our church who was frustrated at what the church was spending her money on. We are a giving congregation, and the church doesn’t struggle financially. But just because WE give doesn’t mean WE get to decide how it is used. We should pray for our leadership – that they would have wisdom in their spending.
    As for the beggar in the street, I have been nudged to give a few times. Sometimes I obeyed. What happens after that money leaves my hand isn’t really the point. For me the issue is did I obey, or didn’t I. Did I listen, or not? What did I do for the least of these? What did I do for Jesus?

    Final thought – I sincerely did not sense you sounding your own trumpet. Your heart is sincere, your love and desire to serve God and others is clear. And sometimes, we need to encourage each other. We need to talk about WHAT GOD HAS DONE! So don’t be uncomfortable. That is all you have done here. Told us what God has done, and encouraged us to ask Him what He wants to do through us.

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  6. Sandy,

    You hit the nail on the head with this post! When it comes to finances…fear and faith cannot co-exist.

    I especially liked the introduction. I will be borrowing/quoting your opening statement 🙂

    “Frugal living is sometimes a cover up for fearful living.” ~ Sandy Cooper

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