What do you consider wise giving?
We had a great conversation about this topic at a recent Women Doing Well retreat and I had the opportunity to share this giving story with the group.
Several years ago my husband and I designated a portion of our giving plan to include spontaneous giving. These usually aren’t big financial gifts, but they’re always gifts from the heart. God has used this type of giving in my life to keep my heart soft, mold me, and train my hearing to be sensitive to His promptings. These teachable moments often come with an element of surprise.
Stopped at a red light one day, I ended up next to a man holding a sign asking for money. I heard the Lord say, “Look into his eyes and give to him.” I rolled down the window, gave him some money, and then asked, “What is your story?” It was as if the Lord held the light and multiplied the time. To my surprise, this man told me he had a job but it wasn’t enough to make ends meet. I wasn’t sure how to process this—laugh out loud or ask for the money back? I asked the Lord, “Did I really hear you?” He responded in a still small voice, “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy.”
At that moment, I asked the man if I could pray for him. I prayed a simple prayer something like this: Father in Heaven, You are a good, good Father, full of mercy and love for this man. It is not your will for this man to spend his life begging on the streets. You have given him gifts and talents and have a good plan for his life. Reveal yourself to this man that He may know You and follow You. Bless his job financially so he will never have to beg on these streets again. Heal him and help him to provide for his family. Give him his daily bread. Father, we ask you to bless our nation and the corporations in them that they would generously give their employees a fair and sustainable wage. Move in this man’s life for Your glory and name’s sake. In Jesus name, Amen!
This man was more grateful for the prayer than the money that day. The monetary gift opened the door for the spiritual gift of God’s presence, bringing to mind Isaiah 54:8 – “With everlasting kindness, I will have mercy on you,” says the Lord, your Redeemer.
This experience taught me that when the Lord leads us to give, it’s always wise because we are giving to Him. He saw to it that I lived out my purpose of “encouraging faith,” which in turn encouraged my faith, remembering how merciful and kind He has been in my own life.