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Stingy

I'll admit it: I have spent most of my life being pretty stingy. I would probably attribute it to not really having an abundance most of the time -- always enough, but not a lot extra. Maybe this is my fault -- career choices and the such -- but whatever. I have lots of embarrassing stories where I cheaped out on myself and my friends, but I stand here ashamed and working towards a more generous Rick.

So fast forward to the parenting version of me and, though I am much better in this arena of life (thanks almost exclusively to my wife), I can still be quite stingy. Almost every day the kids eat oatmeal with blueberries for breakfast. Well, blueberries can be pretty expensive, so I try to balance cost with giving my kids a nutritious breakfast, as well as meeting their massive appetites; which means I can't give them as much as they want, but I still strive for a solid coverage.

Well, today I was doing the blueberry dance and found myself in the same predicament as usual. But then I had a thought: Don't be stingy with your kids. Why? Because God isn't stingy with us.

Do you believe that? I think I do, but sometimes my actions don't back it up. Recently I read this passage though, which supports the idea.
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Amaziah was twenty-five years old when he became king, and he reigned in Jerusalem twenty-nine years. His mother’s name was Jehoaddan; she was from Jerusalem. He did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, but not wholeheartedly.
Amaziah called the people of Judah together and assigned them according to their families to commanders of thousands and commanders of hundreds for all Judah and Benjamin. He then mustered those twenty years old or more and found that there were three hundred thousand men fit for military service, able to handle the spear and shield. He also hired a hundred thousand fighting men from Israel for a hundred talents of silver.
But a man of God came to him and said, “Your Majesty, these troops from Israel must not march with you, for the Lord is not with Israel—not with any of the people of Ephraim. Even if you go and fight courageously in battle, God will overthrow you before the enemy, for God has the power to help or to overthrow.”
Amaziah asked the man of God, “But what about the hundred talents I paid for these Israelite troops?”
The man of God replied, “The Lord can give you much more than that.”
So Amaziah dismissed the troops who had come to him from Ephraim and sent them home. They were furious with Judah and left for home in a great rage. (2 Chronicles 25:1-2, 5-10)
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"The LORD can give you much more than that." Isn't that amazing? Amaziah was worried about financials and God brushed it off like dust on his shoulder; an afterthought.  I also love how the soldiers were furious (I'm sure some of his own camp was unhappy as well), but he still followed God despite the unpopular decision. If you read ahead though, Judah was victorious for listening to the Lord, proving that it is always a good choice.

Is this a good amount?
"Your dad is rich," one of my friends often tells me when talking about money, and it's true. Money isn't anything to God, so why is it such a big deal to us? Why do we strive so hard or worry about having enough when we are told not to by our Heavenly Father? Jesus gives us wisdom on the same idea:
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Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. 
Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?
And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, "What shall we eat?" or "What shall we drink?" or "What shall we wear?" For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:19-21 and 25-34)
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I wrote earlier that my wife is an incredibly generous person, and you know what? It's never led her wrong. We never run out, despite lost jobs and insufficient income, and I have to conclude that God is the reason.

So if you see my kids and their faces are blue, you know why. I have chosen to ignore the high cost of antioxidants and decided to indulge them in the anticipation that we will always have enough blueberries; and everything else we need along with them.

Comments

  1. Katie's a smart woman! I learned the same things from my husband and we have always been provided what we need, even in the roughest of times when only one of us had a job. We've found that Proverbs 11: 24-25 hits especially close to home. It teaches us that the more we keep, the more we need. And the more we give the happier we will be. 🙌❤️

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    1. That's a great verse Rachel! Thanks for sharing.

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