by wesley hicks
As part of the 21 days of prayer I have read such amazing blogs that share the heart of people I love very dearly. I have seen fantastic stories, deep wisdom, and scripture referenced beautifully. I am truly honored to even get to share on Giving, in this opportunity to write with such an amazing set of people, and for such an amazing audience that we have in our church family.
As I have thought about the topic, the thing that has weighed heaviest on me has been my experience in life and I honestly don’t know how much scripture I will quote or reference in this blog. More than anything I want to share from my heart. I guess, what I am saying is—well, giving matters.
We were poor. I don’t mean like can’t get the new LeBron’s type of poor. I mean like government cheese, paycheck to paycheck, praying that God would bless us with bill money kind of poor. Some of my earliest memories include times my sister and I would share/fight for covers that we were using to cover the floor vent so that the heat would keep us warm in the winter.
I remember our trailer had a hole in the outside, about the size of a softball, and honestly have no idea when it happened to appear. I remember seeing a mother working multiple jobs so that she could try to give us the things that we as kids wanted.
My mom is a giver. I remember my unemployed dad, drunk when around, which was so infrequent that I can’t recall one birthday or Christmas in which we were together. I remember a dad that took from his family- finances, time, structure, and the joy in my mother’s eyes. I remember as a kid, early on, becoming aware of something about our nature as humans. Rarely are we ever neutral here, but rather we are bent towards being givers or takers.
You see, there are some of us that are gifted towards being natural givers and it flows well from our hearts. There are some that, well, we are takers and we seek to see what we can get out of X, Y, and Z.
If I am honest, I share traits of both my mom and my dad. Early on in adulthood, I was so much like my dad, the taker within me robbed me of so much joy that God had intended for me to delight in. John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” God gave so I could have life, you could have life, but not just life. Eternal, overflowing, joy-filled delight kind of life fully satisfied in Him. As a taker I was completely missing out on His gift, but once I received His Gift it transformed my heart’s desire as a taker and has continually moved my heart towards that of a giver. I want to give. I want to give financially even when it is tough.
I want to give my time, even when I could be doing “cooler” things or it may mean I miss the big game. You see, giving is what we do, it’s what our Daddy does, and it’s what He wants us to do. WHY? Because He is trying to get a G6 and fly spot to spot? NO. Because HE IS A GIVER.
Follow me here. What if it is in our generous, and sacrificial giving we actually receive more? What if God’s desire is to not only see others blessed by you and me, but also because He wants to see you and me blessed by Him? You see when we give out of a desire to be like our Daddy, a reflection of the Gospel type of giving, not only does it impact those around us but it also hits us deeply.
Here is what I know: There has never been a moment that I gave like this and went on to regret it. There has never been a time that I helped someone less fortunate and knew I had chosen differently. I remember as a child, someone leaving money in our mailbox so that we could pay that months bills and how much I saw it impact my family. I remember when I was in full taker mode, and having two men give me the best reflection of the Gospel I had ever seen in that they loved a moron like me generously even when I was a foolish taker.
I reflect on those moments, and those truths and I know that I no longer want to be a taker but I want to be like my Friend, my Father, my King. I want more to be like Him and I want more of Him and I know that the more I give of myself, the more He looks at me and smiles. I feel it, I experience, I enjoy Him more because I give. What about you? What’s your story if you were to write it down? Are you a giver? A taker? Are you being overwhelmed with the delight in your Maker?
“Do all the good you can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.”
Thank you for being my friend. Thank you for giving me so much more than I could ever dream to have deserved. Please investigate our hearts, search us deeply and break our hearts in the places we hold onto as takers. Give us your heart. The heart of a giver. May we not be captives to our finances, to our stuff, and to ourselves any longer. May we become givers so that we can be more like You.
In Your Son’s name,
Your friend and son Wesley.