on giving

During each service at my church, before the offering buckets are passed around, someone from the staff or congregation is asked to give their testimony and speak life into what “giving” means to them.

It’s a time for offering words of encouragement, as much as it is finances. Tithing goes from an age-old biblical ritual, to a wholehearted, relevant routine. It’s humanized and it’s made real.

I’ve heard my own close friends get up there on the podium, sharing stories and examples from their lives that have overtly challenged them, only to later bring incredible blessing & reward.

And I’ve seen it first-hand in my own life as well.

Beyond_the_horizon_by_agnidevi

So after hearing a number of these peer testimonies, it got me thinking about what “giving” means to me, too.

I’ve been in a season at work where my boss is pregnant and soon-to-be going on maternity leave, leaving her role open and up for the taking.

I’ve also found myself in a season at work where I’ve personally been craving more, and not just in the form of a promotion or my next job title. I wanted more development opportunities and experiences, more 1v1 time with my boss and higher management. I wanted more encouragement and constructive feedback. I wanted more collaboration, more check-ins and accountability, more teaching and more learning, more flexibility in my day-to-day, and heck—of course, who couldn’t use a little more pay.

I also really do want my boss’ job. I want that next role and opportunity to keep moving up.

‘Moving up? ‘

Ahmm.. the double-edged sword.

That clichè, age old saying quickly hit me: “With great power comes great responsibility” (Voltaire).

Yet, it’s not the responsibility piece that I shy away from.

In that next moment, the Holy Spirit quickly whispered to me, “Kaitlyn, you don’t need more responsibility; you need to give more generously. You need to move down. You need to humble yourself in order to uplift others. You don’t need more power, you need to show more of my love.”

Me: “Oh. Oh wowww. ROGER THAT, big guy.  So you’re saying, what I crave, I must also give? Hm. Got it.”

For what I crave, I must also give. 

After all, it really isn’t my  own power that I want anyway. That’s not what I’m fueled by. It’s His. And it’s His ever-sufficient grace, day in & day out, that will ever enable me to bring about any influence.

To be a causation. To do something. To be an agent of change. To be a giver. 

When our hearts are right with God and we are able to recognize the sheer privilege in  providing an offering {of any size} as an opportunity to build His kingdom, we will see more & more opportunities to give all around us. And not just with our finances, but with our time, our listening, our gratitude, our presence, our audacity, our ability to love and our willingness to forgive.

Think you don’t know where to start? People will tell you what they want, need, and like—just listen. 

So as my realizations culminated & fully settled in, I came to the conclusion that I’ve had it backwards all along.

Giving brings blessing and blessing brings happiness–for others (and for me). Not the other way around.

And then of course, I also find it in His word:

Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully under compulsion, for God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver whose heart is in his giving.] –2 Corinthians 9:7

It’s this verse that inspires me to commit not only parts of my finances as a regular tithe and offering, but challenges me to give more of my time and listening. To never be too rushed to stop and acknowledge. To listen not to solve, but to understand.

Today I feel grateful for the people who have given to me in this way–without expectation, without asking for anything in return. I am touched by them and I am moved by them.

For what I crave, I must also give. For what I crave, I must also give.

May we be cheerful, joyous servants this week whose hearts rest in gratitude & giving. We, as a collective body of believers, are the salt-seasoning sent to enrich the God-flavors of this earth.

sck salt seasoning

K.V

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2 Comments

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  1. NICE KAITLYN – LOVE YA

  2. So true & well said Kaitlyn! Love your version of Matthew 5:13.

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