My son Eli often does things that blow my mind. Although I’m supposedly the parent and the one who is teaching him about life and how to become an adult, I’m always surprised at the things I learn from him. God has really put a lot of awesomeness in him. I can’t wait to see what he’s going to be like when he grows up!
I’m just writing this now, but the event I want to share about occurred about a year ago. We had started giving him a weekly allowance of $2. He got to decorate 3 different piggy banks (tithe, save, and spend). We told him whenever he got allowance, he had to put AT LEAST 10% into tithe ($.20) but he could do more if he wanted. Then, split the rest between savings and spending. It seemed like a good plan, but most weeks he just decided to put it all in tithe, which was really cool.
As a parent, I saw the weeks go by and I started to feel badly for him. As bad as it sounds, I wanted him to be able to spend some money. I wanted him to be able to buy stuff like toys, or candy, or whatever. But, if he didn’t start putting money in his spending bank, he never would. We would be at Target and he’d see something he wanted and I would start to say, “do you want to use your spending money on this?” but then I realized that he didn’t have any because he gave it all away! Every once in a while he would put some money into spending and would get up to a dollar or two. But then one day he would say “you know what…I’m just going to put all my spending money to tithe.”
So, the story I wanted to share was this…one time I gave him 2 weeks of allowance at once ($4), and of course he said he was going to put it all towards tithe. Wanting to teach him the “responsible” side of money management, I asked him, “don’t you want to keep some for spending and saving?” I will never forget his response. He looked at me with almost a look of hurt in his eyes. And he said in the most serious voice a 6 year old can…”Daddy, this money is going to change the world.”
I just about burst into tears in a split second after that. I managed to hold them back and say I was proud of him. Then he ran up the steps to put his money away. I would estimate that since we started, we’ve probably given him around $140 in allowance…and he’s probably given away about $136 of it.
When I hear him say things like that, it really challenges me to re-evaluate my own perspective. It’s easy to laugh off a $4 gift as being a world changer. You can barely buy a latte for $4! But, you know what…he’s right…$4 CAN change the world….when God is behind it.
I can picture Eli if he were alive 2,000 years ago. He would be the one, in the middle of the crowd listening to Jesus. And when everyone was hungry he would say, “here take this bread and fish that I have, I know you can do AMAZING things with this!” And as others laughed at his exuberance, Jesus would take that small amount of food and feed 5,000 people.
My challenge to you (and me):
Don’t sell God short. He can do amazing things with even the smallest amount of time, money, and energy we can give. Maybe it’s 2 hours of volunteering with the youth group. Maybe it’s greeting people at church. Maybe it’s taking some canned goods to a food shelter. Or maybe it’s giving $4 for an offering . You have no idea how your gift can impact other people…but don’t for a second think that it doesn’t matter or won’t make a difference. If God is behind it…it definitely will.