So you know how we all have the best advice to give others, theoretically, when we've never been there before? I remember before I was a parent I had the best parenting advice to give. Ha! There were so many things I was going to allow and disallow and I wasn't going to be a push over, ever. I was the disciplinarian and my kids would do what I required of them. Yeah, we all know how that panned out. Ha! It's just different when you are there. I have battles I have to pick daily. And there are still things that are really the most important things to instill in my kids, but there are definitely things that haven't gone or turned out how I expected them to or that I've chosen to let go of and not push.
Same thing when you are a Sunday School teacher. Many times you teach it because God is dealing with you on it, but sometimes, when someone is asking advice, you have the best response for them. Then, when it comes down to it, and you are faced with a similar decision, you realize it's way harder than you thought.
So let's talk money...we've been so blessed and have never really worried about money. We have been smart (not spending money on everything we want or keeping up with the latest and greatest) but in reality, most of the time we've been able to buy whatever we wanted. We've also been pretty generous givers. Because we were able and not necessarily because God asked us to do something beyond what we could easily afford. He's asked us to do big things, but really pretty much within our means. And we've pretty much always had a cushion for a rainy day.
Well right now things are tighter than I'm used to. So I've personally started cutting back some excess so that we don't get in a worse situation financially. We've had so many large purchases (that we need) come at the same time. New AC, new roof, car repair, vacation (which was booked when we had excess, but paid when we didn't). Not to mention my washing machine is starting to freeze up mid cycle. We are having to finance things I'd rather pay cash for so that we have a little reserve and can make it to the next pay day. I have a mental goal of where I'd like our savings to be before I can relax a little.
Tithe is a done deal, we've never really thought about it much. But when it came to guest speakers and extra offerings, I just decided we couldn't right now. God understands, I trust him, but I'm being smart too. But God checked me.
"If you really believe I am gonna take care of you, why are you being stingy? I'm not asking you to be super generous right now, but I am asking you to take care of my people." So I went and paid my extra for our guest speaker and I bought a baby shower gift I was gonna delay for now.
I was living in fear. And I know it because not only was I holding back the reigns when God said let go, but I was complaining about it to others. So not God's way. Really not trying to get sympathy, just someone to agree with my logical reasoning to solve my own problem so I'd feel better about my choices. I didn't ask God how to solve my problem, I just started looking at the numbers and logically figuring out where we could find some extra funds. I do numbers for a living. I just did me. (Now I know that I am me because God made me this way and I know this is my way by his design and purpose, but I didn't even ask him. That's where I feel I went wrong.)
Oh, God forgive me. Living in faith is HARDER than I made it out to be, especially when it's your daily supply you are worried about. Maybe my current situation is your norm, I don't know. But I'm sorry if I made it out to be your weakness that made trusting God for physical provision hard for you. I had no idea. It is hard!!
I really do know God is going to take care of us, he always does. But I have to trust him in everything and not withhold when he has told me to give. I also don't think it's God's will to keep living like it's no big deal and the money will come from somewhere. He tells us to put him first and He will take care of the rest. So until we get back to a safer place financially, I'm just gonna keep asking him to lead us so he can get glory when he provides!