Giving – Two things you want to teach your children: Prayer and Giving. I believe it is mammoth to teach them these two principles of life. You need to model both for them. Ever since my son was born, I’ve lovingly preached to him, “Son, give more, don’t be a taker.” We are like God when we give. Not only is America full of takers, but it has bled over into the church. The Pareto Principle is alive and well in the church, 20% give 80% of the budget for ministry. You are either going to be a giver or a taker in this life. Givers are beautiful people and takers are ugly. You really can’t be a Christ follower if you are not giving. You will never know peace in your life if you are not giving. You are not growing in Christ if you are not giving. Rationalization of not giving is rampant among so-called believers in Christ, and God is not blessing pseudo-Christian living. Giving is something you can’t hide because it comes out in your lifestyle, attitude, and language. What is more revealing than the way you spend your money or use your resources? Nothing. It tells everything about you. Give me 5 minutes in conversation with someone and I can tell if they are selfish and self-serving by the way they talk. Because of credit, virtually everyone in America is rich, so it’s easy to hide behind a certain lifestyle. Giving is ingrained at an early age. Your parents taught you how to give or take. Which one was it? Moreover, it is difficult to switch when you become an adult from either one. Just try to tell a giver that they can no longer give and see what happens…they will give more! Some Christians are takers when they think they are givers. They give by attitude, and feelings toward the pastor and ministry instead of by conviction, responsibility, and obedience to God’s Holy Word. Hopefully, you are a giver, and hopefully, you are obedient to God. My sister, Cheryl and her husband Charles are givers, and live obedient to Him. They tithe their paycheck every week. Why? On Sunday, February 12th, 1967, Cheryl was three years old and on her way to church. She was carrying her “envelope.” Back then we had these envelopes where you could your “religious” stuff for the week. You could also enclose your offering to be given in church each Sunday. Cheryl had her usual .10 in the form of two nickels tucked into the envelope that she licked and sealed that morning or the night before. She got into the car with my grandmother that morning on the way to Sunday School. Inadvertently, it fell out of her little purse or Bible, and in her haste to get to her class, she forgot about. If she remembered, it was too late because she had no idea it was lodged undiscoverable between the car seats. Fifteen years later, my grandfather sold that 1965 lime green Chrysler…to my uncle. He cleaned it out and there it was…Cheryl’s envelope. He gave it her, and to this day she keeps it as a reminder of how she gave when she was a little girl. It’s a tremendous lesson in giving, and how to teach your children to give. One little caveat…one of the nickels is missing. I suppose you could come to a thousand conclusions about that, but I think the lesson is not in the amount, but in the action. She’s a giver.

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