How I’ve Learned to Let Go of Money

As I pondered what I was going to write about this week . . . I decided to document the various money-related God testimonies I’ve experienced personally.

Each has taught me to hold less tightly to money and give it more freely.

Giving, getting and multiplying

I received a $1000 year-end bonus from work around the time of the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami.

Ever since I was a little boy, I always preferred to save money rather than spend it, so I had every intention of putting the money in the bank.

But in my prayer time, I felt God leading me to donate the money to the tsunami relief efforts.

Doing what any obedient Christian does, I waited a couple days to make sure God was really speaking to me. ;)

Sure enough, God continued to press me to give the money.

Sometimes I don’t always hear God correctly, so I gave it a few more days. By this time, Sunday rolled around and I was in church.

I remember being in service near one of the support poles in the sanctuary. I was on the front row towards the right side of the stage worshiping when God dropped the hammer. It was as undeniable as it could be that God wanted me to give the money.

There were no more excuses, no wiggling myself out.

I knew the company I worked for at the time was planning on contributing to the relief efforts, so I went into work the next morning, walked into the president’s office and put the check on his desk explaining I wanted it as part of the company’s relief contribution.

That was that. I went about my day.

Later on in the afternoon my immediate boss walks by my desk and gives me back my check.

His response . . . he was praying and felt like God told him someone was going to do what I just did and in response, he (my boss) should give back the money (to me) and donate twice the amount ($2000).

So not only did I get my money back, but twice the amount was given instead.

Obedience wins.

Raising $12,000 without a job

I’ve already documented that testimony.

It happens to involve the same company as the testimony above. I can’t tell you how amazing it was to work for that company knowing they honored God.

Their contributions made a significant impact to where I am at now in life and ministry. Giving changes lives.

I gave extravagantly, but nothing happened. What the crap?

This is not so much a testimony but a reminder.

I once gave a large sum of money because, again, I felt like God was leading me to bold, extravagant giving towards a cause I believed in: building the local church.

It was a stressful check to write. But I did it without hesitation.

I can’t help but think the $1000 testimony earlier was a lesson preparing me for that moment.

Unlike before though, there was no immediate return. As far as I can tell, God never “returned the favor.”

The reminder is that we don’t give to get, we give out of obedience. When we give towards God’s kingdom, we are content knowing there’s an eternal return. It’s not always an earthly, monetary return. And that’s okay . . .

Tithing in faith, off zero income

The last time I was between jobs, it was a time/season where God was doing a lot in my life. He was stirring the waters, turning my comfortable life into an uncomfortable one.

It was an ambiguous time where I didn’t know for sure what the next season would hold; both professionally/in ministry and financially.

I left the job without another job lined up. In fact, I had actually turned down an offer cause I knew it wasn’t what God had for me. It would have been too easy and would’ve been too comfortable.

During that time, I decided to take a step of faith and give my tithe for the month of February even though I didn’t have a job and was making zero money.

It was my way of saying “God, I trust you. And I believe you’ve got my back.”

My last day on the job was January 31st. On February 1st, the first day of my unemployment, I gave my tithe. Two days later my old employer tells me they want to pay my salary for the month of February.

*cue tears*

It was one of those God moments when you realize the God of the universe truly loves and cares for you. Followed up by having a job lined up by the middle of the month!

And it was pretty awesome being able to sleep in, go to the beach and be a bum for the entire month knowing you were getting paid. ;)

That’s all she wrote

So those are the four money-related testimonies I’ve experienced in my lifetime.

How about you? Any you want to share?

4 replies on “How I’ve Learned to Let Go of Money”

What is money? No really, it’s a super basic question – what is money? Why do we humans desire money? What does money do for us? What does money mean for us? What happens when we humans use money?

Spend some thinking about that before reading ahead :)

Ok, now that your done thinking about that from a regular average human on this earth, now think about it from a perspective as a servant of God. What is money? What purpose does it have for someone who has access to ultimate power? What role does money play now?

This all happened about 3 years ago. My wife and I had been giving generously throughout the year. Giving enough that we really didnt have much room in our monthly budget for any kind of reoccuring cost. At this time I was struggling with 401Ks and stock piling money for the future. What was the balance between being responsible and trusting that God would provide?

I was at the Catalyst conference and the Compassion International booth was set up.  When I walked by it I thought. That’s a great organization but we don’t have any money left and we are already sponsoring 1 kid through Childcare Worldwide. Later at the conference a women started telling her story. She was a compassion kid and because of the investment someone made in her she had gone from the slums to having a Masters degree and running a successful organization that led others to Christ. At the end of her talk she said “if you want to invest in something. Invest in these children” 

I immediately knew what God wanted me to do. I got up, went to a computer and logged into my company’s HR site and stopped contributing any money to my 401k. I wrote down the amount and went to the Compassion booth and said I have x dollars what’s the best way to use it? 

After a quick call to my awesome wife to give her a heads up. :) I signed the paperwork to sponsor Marie and Guilliane in Haiti. We also signed up to pay for Davidson’s college through their leadership development program. Davidson is a computer engineering student in India.

We have vowed to keep paying this until all 3 are out of the program. And since then I’ve taken a lower paying job, my wife is staying home to raise our son AND I’m able to contribute money to my 401k at my current job. God showed us is a big way that we can trust him and he cares for us.  The lesson wasn’t “401Ks are evil”. The lesson was He can be trusted and if He calls you to do something that might interfere with your plans for the future go with his plan.  He is God and his plan is better.

Wow, that is quite the commitment! So awesome to hear you’re staying the course with it.

Sometimes we’ve got to keep reminding ourselves while yes, saving money is one way of being a good steward, investing it in the lives of others is also one.

Often times with much more significant impact than padding our savings account.

It makes me think of the lifetime fruit produced by the little church (less than 50 members) that sponsored my family to the United States.

I’m sure Marie, Guilliane and Davidson will be able to look back one day and say the same about your investment in their lives.

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