God has given me a heart of generosity; i see every dollar as a gift from God. when i give, i believe it will be returned. when challenged to apply the same sowing/reaping principle to my time, a big fat lack of faith is revealed. i fall short. i am an “achiever” — someone who wakes up with an internal fire burning inside. it’s the reason i can’t sleep in, the reason i refuse to wait in long lines [i straight-up leave!!] & the reason i like to always be accomplishing something.
time is my currency and i want to spend it as i see fit. that’s ugly. that’s prideful. weakness frustrates me until i remember God’s promise to show Himself strong in the midst of my junk. morning devotional times have been a slow-go. it’s hard to sit still and pray. my mind wanders to getting something done… even if i have nothing particularly pressing to accomplish. i want to be in control — especially the first fruits of my time. i believe lies like i’ll be able to concentrate better if i read & pray after my work day, after my workout.
nice thought — often i can concentrate better after work — but i hate this mindset. that’s not how i treat my finances. i don’t buy what i want, pay all my bills, go out for dinner & then give to the church. no! i give of my first fruits & i give in faith. consequently, God has blessed me with more than enough. important note: the power money has over my life is severed when i give. “more than enough!” becomes the overflow of my heart. the dollar amount could be much less than someone who cries “i never have enough!” — bank account balances aside, the former is living in freedom, the latter is living in panic.
in arizona, i had the pleasure of re-reading three of C.S. Lewis’ books — Mere Christianity, Screwtape Letters and the Great Divorce. i stumbled upon this passage in The Screwtape Letters that has been resonating in my heart ever since. to provide some context, the book is a series of letters from Screwtape [a senior demon] to his nephew, Wormwood [somewhat of a demon-in-training.] Wormwood has a patient on Earth, an unnamed man, and it is Wormwood’s goal to ensure his patient’s heart does not enter into, or grow in, a relationship with God.
Screwtape writes: You must therefore zealously guard in his mind [the human’s] the curious assumption ‘My time is my own’. Let him have the feeling that he starts each day as the lawful possessor of twenty-four hours. Let him feel as a grievous tax that portion of this property which he has to make over to him employers, and as a generous donation that further portion which he allows to religious duties. But what he must never be permitted to doubt is that the total from which these deductions have been made was, in some mysterious sense, his own personal birthright.
it’s my prayer that i come to a greater understanding that my time is not “my personal birthright.” i am not “the lawful possessor of twenty-four hours.” i am not giving a “generous donation” when i pray or serve. He demands all of me because i am all His. through the grace of Jesus, God takes my formerly selfish & panicked life and gives an abundantly free one. [john 10:10]