Where Our Treasure Lies

Posted by on Mar 26, 2012 | 3 comments

I have been bouncing around this post in my head for a while. Praying for clarity as to whether or not I should really blog about it. I don’t want to offend anyone. I don’t want people to feel uncomfortable. I don’t want people to get mad at me. And really, I don’t want people to think we just want their money, because we don’t. God is providing for this adoption in amazing ways, and I feel no need to beg, plead or remind our family and friends that we are trying to raise the funds to bring M home.

But finally this morning, after absorbing and reflecting on the generous, selfless, sacrificial gift of a very sweet family,  I felt it was time.  I will always answer in obedience when I feel the Lord leading me to share about something, even when it is difficult and scary to do so.

The Rich and the Kingdom of God

Mark 10:17-23

 17As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. “Good teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” 18 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 19 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, you shall not defraud, honor your father and mother.’[d]

20 “Teacher,” he declared, “all these I have kept since I was a boy.” 21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. “One thing you lack,” he said. “Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

22 At this the man’s face fell. He went away sad, because he had great wealth.

 23 Jesus looked around and said to his disciples, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God!”

Lets be honest for a moment and take a hard look at ourselves…Do you, do I, often find excuses for why we can’t give to: adopting families, someone going on a mission trip, a family who is facing unemployment or under employment and is struggling to pay their bills, a young mom who is having a hard time making ends meet, a sponsor child, a humanitarian project, or a number of other worthy, legitimate causes, then I think you (and I) need to take a closer look at this story from Mark 10:17-23. Is Jesus speaking to us?

I guess we first have to ask if we are “rich”? The truth is that by simply  living in America and having the resources to even compose or read this blog post on some type of technological tool, yes, we are rich. Very, very rich.

So now that we know we are “rich”, lets be honest about our giving. Do we struggle with giving when it hurts?  Do we struggle with giving, even when it doesn’t hurt? Do you believe that you deserve certain things? I know that sometimes I do. Do you often become judgmental and critical of families, individuals or organizations who ask for financial support, and use this critical spirit as a reason to not give? For me, that can be a hard feeling to avoid. Do you find excuses not to give? Do you talk yourself out of giving? I am asking myself the same question, and I don’t like the truth.

I am asking these questions because we must all, as lovers of Christ, as lovers of others,  be held accountable.  What do our actions say about our beliefs. Are we obedient, even when what God asks of us is uncomfortable or even hurts? Are we selfless, to the point that it costs us something? Are we bearing fruit? Where do our treasures lie?

Based on our actions, what we actually do, not just say, would others describe us as generous or selfish? If the way you live your life is not evidence that you are a generous, giving person, then lets be honest,  you are probably selfish. And that same rule applies to me. How would people describe me? What do my actions show?

One of the most amazing things we have experienced during both adoptions, is what it feels like to be on the receiving end of giving. Both adoptions have taught us how to be better givers. How to give when it hurts or is uncomfortable, and means we must go without a haircut, new clothes, new shoes, vacations, coffee, make up, a new cell phone, or doing  home improvement projects.

As we began to feel people’s love via their giving towards our adoption of Sarah,  we began to look at the history of  our own “excuses” for not giving. “We don’t have the money.” – Well, we actually did, but we used the excuse that we really needed a haircut or that we “deserve” to go out to dinner to celebrate a birthday. Or, Christmas is coming and we need to buy gifts. Or, we are just lazy, and made the excuse that it wouldn’t  make a difference anyways.

Sarah’s adoption was the first time we had ever asked for financial support from anyone, ever.  It was humbling to say the least. We sent out support letters and were so surprised at how God provided. The support we received actually came from the most unsuspecting people.

Support for Sarah’s adoption came from people whom we barely knew. From families who were struggling to pay their own bills, but had faith that God would provide for their needs as they walked along side our own journey of faith. From people we had not seen in many, many years! They began to give. And give in big ways. Give to the point of pain and sacrifice. We were blown away! We were humbled. And we were taught the importance of giving with a selfless heart.

As these people began to send in support, we learned to be better givers. Givers, not just because someone needs financial support, but because we want to show them that we love them and that we believe in what they are doing. That we are willing to have a little less so that they can pay their bills or follow God’s call for  their life.

But in the end, after all was said and done with our adoption of Sarah, although we were blessed and encouraged by the generosity we experienced, we really did not want to ask for financial support for M’s Adoption. We did not want to burden people.  We wanted to do it on our own (yes, we struggled with a bit of pride).

But then we got our Lifesong/Just Love Them account and after being encouraged by some friends,  we decided to send out letters again. But this time we only sent letters to 25 people, whom we felt would really want to help us.

God has been faithful, oh so faithful. But not in they way that we expected.  Most of the donations began to come in from the most surprising places and people. From people whom we had not even sent letters too! From some of the same people who supported Sarah’s adoption (wow!), from friends whom we have not seen in years, from other adoptive families whom we have never met! From others whom we do not even know!

We even received financial gifts from people that we KNOW do NOT have the money to give!  And not just a few bucks. But big donations, donations that we know HURT to give. Checks that we almost don’t feel comfortable cashing because we know they are truly giving up a lot to help bring M home and support us emotionally and spiritually like this. But in the end, who are we to stop God’s will for them to be a part of something bigger than us?

Through all of this, one thing we have learned with confidence as we have loosened our own grip on our money and possessions, is that you cannot out give the ultimate Giver. God honors giving. Period. He sees the obedience and selflessness taking place, and He will honor it. He always does.

You must also recognize that the giving doesn’t always have to come straight from your checking or savings account. I understand too well, that sometimes the cash just isn’t there to give. But, we all have a ton of STUFF. So much stuff, too much stuff. Stuff we can sell on e*bay or Cra*gsl*st, stuff we would not even miss. Stuff we can sell and then donate the money to a family or organization in need of it.

Or, what talents do you have? Are you crafty? Can you make something, sell it, and give the money away? Are you a servant? Can collect donated good and organize a yard sale, then give the profits away? Can you help organize a benefit dinner or silent auction?

If you don’t have the cash, there are many other ways to be generous and express your love and support to others.

So back to the Rich Young Ruler.

Is that you? Is that me? Lets be honest with ourselves!  If you find yourself coming up with excuses to not be a giver, even though you feel that tug in your heart do so, then I think you may need to re-read that story. Is Jesus asking you to give to someone, but at the end of the day, you sadly turn your back to him, shaking your head, and say “I just can’t do it. Not now. Maybe next time.”

If so, then you just may have the same heart condition of the young man in Mark.

Let me end this by saying I am not trying to guilt you into giving to our adoption. In fact, if this post convicts, irritates or infuriates you, but ultimately drives you to want to give, please, don’t give to our adoption. We don’t want people to give to us for the wrong reasons.

But if you want to finally say “yes” to the Spirit’s prompting and be fruitful, selfless and generous,  then here are some ideas of where you can give and truly make a difference in the lives of others.

Adoption 1:27

For The Love of Patricia (A Guatemalan Orphanage)

Wiphan Widow and Orphan Care Ministry

International Voice of the Orphan

Proverbs 24:12

12 If you say, “But we knew nothing about this,”
does not he who weighs the heart perceive it?
Does not he who guards your life know it?
Will he not repay everyone according to what they have done?

I also want to leave you with a link to a Bible Study on the Poor, that I kind of co-wrote with our friend Mark Wolbert. Mark had written a Bible Study on the poor and gave me permission to modify it and make it more my own.  Mark also gave me permission to share it as I felt led. Thanks Mark. ). Feel free to do this study and use it however you wish.

May the Lord bless you as you seek His will, and obediently say “yes”, even when it is uncomfortable and costly.

In His Grip,

Kameron

 

3 Comments

  1. This was beautifully written!

  2. Great post and such a good reminder to be generous with ALL we have and to whomever the Lord leads….thanks for the reminder and challenge! You are awesome :)
    H

  3. How inspiring! And such a good reminder of what part of the world we live in. We are the rich and far too often we forget it. Kameron, I’m always so blessed by your obedience to say and do the hard or uncomfortable things. Love you!

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