The following blog is from our book Crucial Moments: Learning to See God in the Middle of Difficulties. To learn more about this book, here is a six minute podcast by Steve.
You go to the grocery store to stock up for the week. As you walk in, next to the door is someone holding a sign saying, “Will work for food.” Your heart fills with compassion for them, but you also wonder if he might be using the money for drugs or alcohol. You want to give him something, but you are unsure. You fight the conflicting feelings inside you and are left with a decision to make.
WHAT TO GET EXCITED ABOUT
You get to recommit in your heart that you are a person who gives to the poor.
You have the opportunity to become a powerful decision-maker who decides out of faith, not Christian obligation.
This is a chance to connect with Holy Spirit on what you are to do.
STRENGTH THROUGH SCRIPTURE
Matthew 25:40 – “Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.”
2 Thessalonians 3:10 – “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.”
Genesis 41:35-36 – “And let them gather all the food of those good years that are coming . . . Then that food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.”
Challenge yourself to grow in your generosity to the poor – “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son . . .” (John 3:16). God compassionately gave to a people who could not repay Him. We have the privilege of determining that we too will be givers. Something powerful happens when we develop a heart for the less-fortunate and decide to help them in finances, encouragement, and in other ways. This decision breaks off selfishness in us and causes us to be God’s hand extended to others.
Be spontaneous in giving, but focus more on planned giving – It is one thing to give to a need presenting itself, but it is even more powerful to set money aside to proactively give. The tithe is an example of planned giving. As we give regularly to ministries and organizations which are helping the poor with their immediate needs and in developing the tools to overcome poverty, we will ultimately make a greater impact than only giving to people we come across. We can also become more proactive in our “spontaneous giving” by having “Holy Spirit fun money” with us to give as needs present themselves to us (or to give as Holy Spirit leads).
Know there are times you won’t give to immediate needs because of commitments you have already made to others – Some give generously to people they don’t know, and then have little or nothing left for their family and loved ones (or for fulfilling promises they’ve made of paying off debts or other financial commitments). This type of behavior sends the wrong message to the people closest to us, and it ultimately could be a character issue which will derail our influence and favor.
God always shows up when I see someone who is asking for money.
I am very generous to the poor.
I make great decisions in my giving, and I regularly support ministries who serve the poor.
Crucial Moments: Learning to See God in the Middle of Difficulties
by Steve Backlund
This book helps us upgrade how we think, act, and most importantly, believe in those crucial moments when:
- You feel nervous about speaking in public
- Your house is a mess when people come over
- A politician whose beliefs oppose yours is elected
- You gain more weight than you thought
- You don’t feel like worshipping
…and 47 other opportunities for breakthrough.