Sometimes "giving cheerfully" is a struggle!

Sometimes “giving cheerfully” is a struggle!

“The mark of a disciplined disciple is he sees what he has as not his own.”

This was just one of the sticky statements from last Sunday’s sermon. Our pastor was preaching the final of a 5-part series on disciplined discipleship focusing on tithing out of Malachi 3. Of course, the topic no one wants to hear about, or so the pastors always say 😊

I took some time this week to look back over the rest of the sticky statements I heard,

“Giving the full tithe tests the faithfulness of God.”

“He promises provision and protection … He protects by rebuking the devourer.”

“Giving should be planned, periodic, private, generous, and cheerful.”

“The mark of a disciplined disciple is he sees what he has as not his own.”

I pondered the truths he preached and realized I’m still carrying some attitudes from my years of spiritual abuse, where I typically tithed 30% or more and gave myself right into the poor house. And all the while, the false shepherd paid himself and his family hundreds of thousands of dollars.

I admit, I struggle with feeling justified if I don’t give.

I kinda feel like I should get a pass for all the excess I gave cheerfully while being gaslighted daily.

Thank God I’m married to a cheerful giver, even when our financial future looks like a big question mark, as he continues to trust God with the future He has planned for this seasoned preacher without a pulpit.

Which convicts me of this resentment that still brews within me, leaving me to cry out to God to restore me to that childlike faith that exudes cheerful generosity.

Have you ever thought, “But tithing is Old Testament! I don’t HAVE to tithe!” Yeah, the enemy has whispered that in my ear too. But Paul is clear about being a cheerful giver, not giving out of compulsion, delighting in the opportunities to support the gospel financially and sowing generously.

So where does this leave me, even after all the manipulation and abuse I’ve endured?

Once again, convicted of my own propensity to use that abuse as an excuse to be stingy.

Lord, please forgive me. You deserve better than that. Please help me see what I have as not my own and trust Your faithfulness as I find my way back to being a cheerful giver.

I’ll bet some of you have experienced your own spiritual abuse by prosperity preachers or those who fleece their flocks for personal gain. Do you struggle with being a cheerful giver too?

Thanks for hanging out with me today!


Athena Dean Holtz
Welcome, I'm Athena!

I start each day by tithing the first hour to the Lord in prayer, reading the word, doing word studies of the Text, and asking God how I can live out what I am reading. This time is usually met with meditation on devotionals that are usually written by dead guys like Oswald Chambers, CS Lewis, Charles Spurgeon, AW Tozer, and Andrew Murray.

Right now, I’m reading a daily devotional with a friend called Tozer on the Almighty God for my focus for the day. It's fun to see individually what pulls us in to spur one another on to good deeds!

The Bible is filled with action steps to walk out in practical and intentional ways. This sets my day in motion to walk it out! I hope this is your heart, too.

Consider this a personal invitation to join me in this journey!

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