Growing in Giving

This devotion is part of a series of devotions on how to grow in your walk with God. If you have not already done so, you may find it helpful to read the introductory devotion, Growing in God: Mommy Edition.

At first glance, this might not seem like a topic in which moms need instruction. We spend our lives giving—anytime, anywhere, with or without advance notice. What more could we possibly need to learn?

Fear not! I’m not going to tell us to give more. I’m not going to place yet another burden on our overworked backs. Instead, I’ll help us look at what the Bible says about giving, which will actually lighten the load of the giving we have to do and turn our giving from drudgery into worship.

Sometimes I get worn out from giving. Burned out. Stressed out. Sometimes resentful. When that happens, it’s a sure sign not that my kids need me too much, but that I haven’t been giving properly. I may have been giving “enough”—but not “properly”. Let me explain.

As human beings, we like to get acknowledged for what we do. We like to be noticed, appreciated, and even thanked. Most businesses understand this, so they develop ways to show their employees the desired affirmation. But notice here that it’s not necessarily the clients or customers who express appreciation; it’s usually the bosses who deem an employee’s performance exemplary and worth of gratitude.

This is how being a mom works, too. We don’t often get thanks from our “customers” either, unless it’s an obligatory “thank you” when we remind them they forgot to say it. But our “boss”—God Himself!—is constantly offering encouragement, thanks, and praise. He’s told us over and over in Scripture how much He loves us and values us. He’s promised that He will help us with whatever we need. He’s even guaranteed us that our work is NOT in vain! He’s made Himself available 24/7 whenever we want to talk to Him, and He doesn’t mind that it might be in the midst of making supper or cleaning the oven. He’s told us He delights in us. He’s even said that He is—get this—pleased with our sacrifices.

If we keep giving to our children only, we’re going to have to settle for only intermittent satisfaction. But if we give to the Lord, it won’t matter so much that our children don’t fulfill us. Because the Lord Himself will do so—in fact, desires to do so—and He can do a far better job than our kids can.

We need to practice giving to the Lord and expecting to receive our praise from Him, not from human beings. Which brings me to the second point: growing in giving also means offering our giving to God as an act of worship. We are to do our work for Him and expect to receive praise from Him, but not as some kind of business transaction. We should offer our service to Him as an act of worship. Worshipping God means offering what we are and what we have to Him. If right now, what we are is tired and what we have is dirty dishes, then wearily scrubbing caked-on oatmeal can be an act of worship if we do it with a right heart.

Jesus told us clearly that whatever we do for “the least of these” (our children included), we do to Him. In other words, whether or not we offer our service as worship, Jesus takes it personally. So we have the choice of either offering Him a fragrant, sweet-smelling aroma, or a stench in His nostrils. What will we choose?

Precious mom, I know it’s hard to have a good attitude some days. Really hard. But we can choose our attitude. We can either focus on all the things that have gone wrong and slam the dishes grumpily into the sink, or we can make a decision of our hearts and minds that even though the day’s been awful, we will still offer our service as worship. We don’t have to have the attitude that seems logical according to our circumstances. We have a choice. We can choose to do our work in a worshipful manner (sometimes even despite the circumstances), or we can choose to react with bitterness and resentment and offer God grudging, unwilling service. Hard sometimes, I know. But we can choose.

I wonder what a difference it would make in our homes if we truly grew in giving, doing our work as unto the Lord and offering Him our service as worship. How might it change our children to see their mother giving first of all to the Lord? What blessed changes would there be in our hearts and minds as God’s Spirit brought growth to our spirit?

I bet the spiritual blessings would be above and beyond anything we can imagine.

1 Corinthians 15:58—Therefore, my dear [sisters], stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Hebrews 13:16—And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

Colossians 3:23-24—Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.

Matthew 25:40—And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

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