As we sat in Denny’s restaurant ready to order I was feeling generous. “I’ll pay for our meals!” I was with my boyfriend & younger sister at the time & we were really enjoying each other so why not pay. I ordered first & asked for water with my meal. My sister & boyfriend however ordered flavored drinks. Not just fountain drinks but the drinks that they put cherry flavor at the bottom. The ones that cost about $3.00. I became upset. They clearly seen me order water with my meal why would they order an expensive drink? I didn’t try to hide how angry I was & it made me a playing ground for their amusement. They began to tease me about how cheap I was. How it’s just $6 & it’s not as if I was broke. I started to regret even offering to pay for their meals. They continued to tease me as we ate. As I sat there I thought able how I’m frugal…not cheap (it sounds better) & how I can be giving. So, I grabbed my boyfriend’s keys & walked out the restaurant. I went down to the gas station & filled his tank with gas. He had a truck & it cost about $50. Then I put $100 in his wallet. I’ll show them! I’m not cheap…I do give!
I did all that not with a giving heart but to prove I’m not what they say I am. I’ve given over the years to many people & organizations. Have I ever given my last (Mark 12:41-41)? Well not monetarily but food yes without a doubt. As the years have come & gone, I’ve grown in knowledge of finances & the handling on monies. I am good at budgeting & sticking within my means. With the constant fraud going on I began to check my bank accounts regularly. This was a logical thing to do. I’ve even caught frauds on my credit card before my bank has.
I recently got a WORD from a woman at a church I attended right before New Year’s. She mentioned that I have idols in my life I’m not aware of & that God is a jealous God (Exodus 34:12). Me? Idols? I serve only the one true God. I’m humble. What could I possibly be idolizing? I prayed & asked God to reveal it to me because I like to deal with things sooner than later. While talking to someone, I mentioned how I was stressed about my finances and the lack of money coming in since I left my job. He suggested that I pay up all my bills up three months, so I don’t worry. I mentioned how that wouldn’t keep me from worrying because I like to have a certain amount on money in my account. I check my bank accounts daily. Sometimes three to four times a day. I refresh every time to see if a new transaction has come through or to look at my overall assets. It’s an area in my life that I have full control. He mentioned that it sounded obsessive. I defended my behavior by stating that fraud is on the rise & it makes logical sense. He suggested I sign up for bank alerts that way I will be notified if anything happens. I let him know I already have that.
As I was sitting there, I began to think about how dependent I am on checking my finances several times a day. It’s one of the first things I do in the morning. I receive comfort in seeing a certain amount of money in my account. When I surrendered my life over to my Heavenly Father, I told Him I’d give everything of me to him. My son, my job, my finances. Yet, here I was not giving over my finances. I still was giving to others & to organizations, but I did so within my own limits. As I was walking one morning, I heard the holy spirit say, “You’re believable. You even make other people believe you, but do you really believe you’ve surrendered all?” The phrase “Fake it until you make it” came to mind. You can’t fake it until you make it with the Lord (Psalms 12:2). He knows all. No matter how generous I appeared to be in being a good steward over my finances, I was still holding on to depending on the resource rather than the Source.
The Lord then brought to my memory another incident with the same boyfriend. I was having a tough day, so he came across town to see me. Before he left, he told me he didn’t have any gas money & if I’d be willing to give him $5.00? I looked at him as if he was crazy. I told him he shouldn’t have come to see me if he couldn’t afford to get home & I gave him nothing. I didn’t care about his time. I didn’t care that the only reason he was there was to see me. I cared more about the $5.00 than him running out of gas on the way home.
Lord knows I’ve come along way & I’m grateful. I asked God to purge my heart of any & all things that do not belong. I was blinded to my attachment to money. I thought because I was what I considered a generous giver I was ok. I was very wrong. God is a jealous God & I can’t put anything before Him. It’s now been several weeks, and I haven’t checked my bank account everyday. A part of me wants too…” What if there’s fraud on it right now?”, “I need to check my account because I forgot my balance already!” I know it’s a process & it’s one I welcome with open arms because I’m #DyingDaily to who I was; to become all that I am in my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ.