Loosen The Grip

Saving money has been a recent undertaking of mine. Traveling, missions, low-paying jobs and internships have prevented me from doing so in the past. Finally, I’m able to stash away some hard-earned cash.

I can’t lie, it’s a good feeling…having some money in the bank. No, I’m certainly not rolling in the dough…but for the first time in my life, I’ve got some financial stability.

Or do I?

I would be sincerely mistaken to think money is my security. I would not say it is, however, I often become side-tracked into thinking this way. I want to give God every area of my life and quit compartmentalizing. But that voice of rationality kicks in…

“Save, Marissa.

You might need a car sometime soon.

You won’t always have cheap rent.

You’re almost 26. You’ll soon actually have to get your own health insurance.

Who knows what bills will spring up?

Save. Just save. Don’t touch that money.”

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I want to abandon this thinking. I want to withdraw from thinking I need to save and keep money for my well-being.  Even now, right now, I’m feeling foolish for writing these words in the previous two sentences.

“You need to be responsible. You need to plan for your bills. Have money stashed away. Be prepared for anything.” 

But then, the most of me doesn’t care about the logic, the stuff that should make sense.

I have full confidence that if I give my dinner to a homeless man in D.C., He will provide me with my daily bread. He’s done this. And so, I must have full confidence that if God has me give away my entire savings to people in need, He will indeed take care of me.

I’ve never taken a financial planning course. I’ve never read more than a few quotes by Dave Ramsey. I’m certain there is much good to note and apply in such strategies.

I’m grappling. Recently, this area of finances and giving has been the “Predestination or Free Will” question. Through my grappling, I’m realizing that when this rubber meets the road, I reach my conclusion with ease. God is saying to me, “Relinquish completely.”

And maybe I need to be logical for a moment. Maybe I need to plan.  It makes sense. Many Proverbs could be aptly cited here. They would urge counsel and planning. Sure, I agree completely. Wisdom in finances is necessary. But mostly, I long to be able to hold a loose grip, place everything in His hands, for all I truly need is Him. He will take care of me. He so cares for His children.

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“See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you – you of little faith?” – Matthew 6:28-30

so long to hold my earnings and possessions loosely, ready at any moment to give something or all  of it up.  No, I’m not trying to achieve saint status or anything. I simply want to know my Father. I want to be in step with the Spirit, and this is such a large aspect that can’t be overlooked. Because while in pursuit of Him, open hands are a natural outpouring and ever-increasing desire. It is then He can best use us for His glory.

I expound upon all of this because I believe it is necessary to explore when considering a life of giving. We live in this consumerist, Western side of the world where we work hard for our money and feel entitled to reap its security and thoroughly enjoy its benefits. It sounds right and justified, but the more I read the Scriptures, I see a different way. I see giving and sacrifice and love. And it’s beautiful. Because when we live in this way, Jesus promises we will be blessed and cared for beyond explanation.

That’s how the Kingdom works.

As I reflect again, I’m admittedly daunted. I’m thankful I can bring these stipulations to a God who is undaunted by our fears.

Here’s to the journey.

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