Each of us is faced with thousands of choices every day that define our thoughts, our behavior, and who we are to the world. This fall’s Thrive Conference explores the idea that the choices we make hold power and provide opportunities that influence ourselves, others, and how we see God. Each Tuesday from now until October, we’ll feature one story of someone whose life was changed by the conference or who was faced with a choice and held firmly to the belief that “I Choose.” Today’s story is courtesy of Susie Larson, one of the speakers at this fall’s Thrive, who writes about generosity, blessing others and flourishing.
He sorted through the mail, pressed the latest bill onto the table, and looked at me with compassion in his eyes. He knew full well that our medical debt stirred up huge amounts of anxiety within me.
“We’ll get through this,” he assured.
I wasn’t so sure.
What happened to us? How did we get here? And how would we ever get through it?
The truth is, we had encountered one crisis after another through no fault of our own. And the truth was, we had become hit-and-miss tithers. All because of fear. But when is fear ever a good motivator for a Christian?
We decided that we needed to live like God’s promises were true or we needed to quit calling ourselves believers. If we could trust Jesus with our eternity, surely we could trust him with our finances, right?
We got down on our knees together, bowed our heads, and asked God’s forgiveness for allowing our fears to get in the way of our obedience. Then we resolved right then and there never to hold back our tithe. I thought to myself, God must being smiling big right now. Obedience feels good.
But he wasn’t finished with us yet. He whispered to both our hearts, I also want you to keep an eye open for those around you. No matter what season of life you find yourself, there will always be someone within your reach that you can help. You always posses more than you know and I intend to meet some of the world’s needs through you.
That moment changed everything for us. We got up from that place and determined to ever be on the lookout for those who need what God has given to us.
I host a daily talk show on Faith Radio called Live the Promise. Andy Crouch joined me on the show awhile back and he talked about the importance of stewarding the power that God has entrusted to us. Some use their power in a corrupt way. They leverage their position to benefit themselves even though others may pay a price.
But Jesus did the exact opposite. He leveraged his power and it cost him everything, that we might gain eternity and then some. What love!
Once Andy established that we all have power and influence in varying degrees, he posed a question that I’ll not soon forget. He said we must dare to ask ourselves: Who flourishes because I have power?
Who flourishes because God has been good to me?
It’s easy to commit the sin of comparison and come up lacking compared to those who seem to have it all. But truly, we’re more blessed than we know and more influential than we can fathom.
God delegates to each of us a measure of influence and power. One day we’ll give an account for how we’ve stewarded our time, treasures, and talents. And since that’s true, we must consider this weighty question today: Who is blessed because I’ve been blessed?
May we live generously and wholeheartedly because we serve a God in heaven who has been so very good to us.
Reflect and Respond:
- Who flourishes because I have power?
- In what ways is God calling me to grow in generosity?
Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God (2 Corinthians 9:11, NLT).
Susie Larson is a talk-radio host, national speaker, an author of twelve books. She’s been married to her honey since 1985 and together they have three grown sons, two beautiful daughters-in-law, and one adorable pit bull.