I've had this post on my mind for some time now. It's taken me awhile to be able to put my thoughts into something I could actually compose. The reality is that it's hard for me to write. It's hard for me to get the perspective that I often need, but also to relay that in a manner that won't come across as condescending or judgmental. That is my hope.
I can't even begin to tell you how many times I've heard people say things such as:
I don't have the money to tithe.
Money is so tight we can't afford to give to missions.
I'd like to sponsor a child but we just can't right now.
We already gave our tithe, we can't do anything else.
And the reality is that sometimes those may be true. But more often than not, they don't typically hold up. They do in our minds, of course, when we use our logic. But oftentimes when we take a step back and reevaluate we can see the truth staring back at us.... and we ignore it.
I began formulating these thoughts shortly after we got our new kitty, Harley. It took less than 24 hrs. for us to realize something was seriously wrong with him. He had hypoglycemia and would bottom out, appearing near death. We kept trying to balance our desire to save him with our desire to be good stewards of our money. How much was too much? How much should we spend not knowing whether or not he'd survive?
He did survive and we ended up spending a small amount of money taking him to the vet twice, getting him 2 shots, a prescription, and prescription food. It's when I went back in to the vet to buy more food that I realized the absurdity of this. I ran into someone I know who was also there buying food (for her dog). She said she spends at least $50/month because her dog gets sick if she doesn't feed him that specific food. There she was spending $50/mo and there I was buying 3 cans of prescription food ($1.79/can) and it hit me.
People are willing to spend more money on their pets than they are giving to children dying all across the world.
I bought my cat a prescription and there are millions of children dying from preventable and/or curable diseases.... most having never heard the name of Jesus.
I bought my cat specialized food to boost his immune system while there are millions of children and adults starving in more countries than I'd like to imagine.
My cat has a bed, a crate, food and water bowls, a collar, toys. He's had 3 sets of booster shots/vaccines to keep him healthy and prevent diseases.
And there are people living in makeshift huts on mounds of human feces.
Yet, how many people will say:"I just don't have the money to give."?
How many pets are wearing bling, outfits, and living in luxury??
And if you don't go all out like that, surely the mere fact that you might have a pet means the proper care of that pet (ie. food, vaccines, etc.).
Don't have a pet? Fear not. This perspective issue comes out in a wide array of circumstances.
New Shoes, Purse, Clothing
How much did we just spend on Christmas??
Can we really sit back and say we don't have the money to give? And I'm not saying any of these things are bad in and of themselves. It's only that we can't continue to put these things first and then say we can't afford to give.
Perhaps a better observation might be that we care (purposely or inadvertently) more about what we want than about the needs of others.
Sometimes that's true of me. And nearly always I can take a step back, get perspective, and see the absurdity in thinking I don't have money to give.
So what is it? What's your excuse for not giving more? I challenge you to take a step back, truly evaluate, and then ask yourself, what's more important. Because I think we all already know the answer.....