Saving So I Can Give

1 Chronicles 29:16 O LORD Our God, as for all this comes from your hand and all of it belongs to you.

It was early November last year when we broke the news to the kids that we were moving to Memphis. Hayleigh, whose birthday falls in early December, had but one request prior to the move. She wanted our family to take a day and attend the monthly shopping extravaganza held in Canton, TX the first weekend of every month.

The weekend prior to Hayleigh's birthday we piled into the car for the trek over to Canton. Hayleigh arrived armed with $20 Scott and I had given her to spend and $20 that she had withdrawn from her savings account. I was quite interested to see how she would spend her little nest egg.

I ended that day amazed at the love stored up in Hayleigh's heart. She spent almost every dollar she'd brought buying Christmas presents for her family, teachers and friends. She had taken what she had saved and what she'd been given to invest in other people. Clearly, she knew Who had really given her that money.

Today my passage is the final chapter of 1 Corinthians. Paul is apparently addressing a question that has been raised about collecting money to benefit the poor in the church at Jerusalem. Paul's instruction is to have each person set aside money once a week to be saved up and collected at a later date when Paul returns for a visit (Verse 2).

As I read this, I evaluated what it is that I'm currently saving up for. College, retirement and cars for my girls are presently topping the list. In fact, I can't say that I've ever really considered saving up money to be given in a future offering to my church. My husband and I believe strongly in the principle of giving to God first out of our income and back that belief with the action of giving out of every paycheck but I can't say that we're actively setting aside money in addition to that practice.

Just a few verses later, Paul is asking the Corinthian church to "do everything in love" (Verse 13). There are days that I realize that by the time my five sweet blessings return home from work and school, I have spent my day's allotment of love on other people. If I am going to do everything in love, surely that means maintaining a special reserve for the most important people in my life. Perhaps I'm too quick at times to give away what God wants me to keep in reserve.

Jesus, everything I have is Yours. Help me see my finances and my love as Your resources to be both stored and freely given as You would design. I need Your wisdom to know how to balance these seemingly competing objectives. Today I will stay close to You, and listen carefully so that I will know when to give and when to save.

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