Shaun always shares his sermon series ideas with me. Sometimes I approve, sometimes I don’t. And I always let him know-not that it matters-he listens to God, not me, and that’s usually a good thing 🙂
When he showed me the graphic being designed for the current series I hated it. I didn’t understand what iGwt meant and frankly when he told me the whole title I thought it was ridiculous. inGodwetrust??…Who’s Your Money’s Daddy?? Silly, huh?
I went into this series on finances thinking I pretty much knew everything he was going to say. A lot of the time he has already shared his major points with me, and I’ve had a chance to give my thoughts on it. So I generally listen-I’m ashamed to say- to critique, and not so much to learn. That’s terrible, I know.
I am a tither and have been one consistently for years. But you know what I discovered during this series..it’s still not easy for me. And I wonder if Shaun weren’t in charge of our finances, would I be such a faithful tither? We are because he makes sure of it. But could I be trusted to do it on my own?? After today’s message, I think the answer, shockingly, is “no.”
Today Shaun used the story of the rich man who came to Jesus asking how to inherit eternal life to make the point that too many of us-most of us- have a heart attachment to money and the things money can buy. He also showed us that serving Money means not serving God because we cannot serve both. Fine. I’m good on all of that. Or so I thought. I’m not rich. I really don’t have ANY money. And very few of my life decisions are guided by money. After all I quit my job- a well paying job- to be a SAHM and home school my kids. No one who loves money does that.
But man, I was convicted today! I may not care about money in and of itself, but I am attached to the things money can buy. Number one being clothes. I buy something new-for myself or my kids- at least once a week. Now I have a lot of children- who are constantly growing and in need of things. And I shop bargains- like for real. I never buy anything that’s not on the clearance rack. But all that’s just a justification for unnecessary spending.
Last week during Shaun’s message I thought I heard God suggest I go a year w/o buying any new clothes. It was a passing thought- one I wasn’t much interested in- so I let it go. I ignored God. See? That’s proof that I have a heart attachment. I think I hear the voice of God and I ignore it, because the idea of being w/o my STUFF is too unbearable. And then to put the icing on the cake Shaun goes and confirms what I thought I heard last week.
Randomly during his sermon today he says “maybe God has told you not to buy any new clothes for two years.” My face did like the rich man’s in the bible- it fell! I said nothing to Shaun of what I thought I heard God suggest. Who knew? Shaun does actually speak as the spirit gives him utterance-joke- I’ve always known he was “anointed.” Although God clearly told me one year- not two 🙂
Really it’s not so much about the clothes. It’s about letting God be the Daddy of my money. It’s about letting go of material things and pursuing the things of God. Until today I would have already thought that I could do that. But if I cringe at the thought of not buying any new clothes for a year, how could I let go of the clothes I already have, or my car, my bed, my house? Could I give up our almost payed off car and share the truck with Shaun so that a single mother who didn’t have a way to work could provide for her family? Can I commit the cost of a year’s worth of clothing for myself to the support of a hungry child somewhere in the world? If I had a check for $9000 and needed the money, but clearly heard God say to turn it over to someone He felt needed it more, could I do it? At this point, absolutely not! This means I don’t trust God, and God is NOT my money’s Daddy.
Here’s the kicker..if God took it all away from me, I think I could deal with it better than having to willingly give it away to someone who needed it. The first would be beyond my control, the second would require a level of generosity I don’t possess.That’s a hard truth to know about myself.
So no new clothes for a year. I’m looking forward to the challenge. And it will be a challenge. I have pretty much failed at every “fast” I’ve ever undertaken.
But I’m excited to see how much of our capital I can free up to be used for God’s work instead of another piece of stitching to cover my ever growing rear-by the way, I plan to give that some work this new year too 😉