Is there anything better than being able to give and help someone in need?
This is usually my feeling about generosity, but lately I’ve been struggling and I don’t know what to make of it. We had several opportunities to meet needs last week, and as I bought the gift cards and supplies my anxiety level skyrocketed. I felt like I was doing something wrong. I felt like I was irresponsibly overspending. The feeling is following me into this week, too.
This morning I realized we’re almost out of toilet paper. My first reaction was one of frustration and deep shame. (Shame, I tell you! Over toilet paper!) I had promised myself I’d make do with what we had in the house this week, not run out to the store and spend money twenty different ways. I mentally berated myself for not having enough bathroom tissue on hand.
We need more TP because we have more guests than usual using the restrooms. In a six-day span this week, we’ll have about fifty guests. It turns out that guests need to use the restroom, and it’s awfully generous of a hostess to make sure she supplies ample paper for this.
(I feel like this entire post has taken a turn towards toilet etiquette, and that’s hardly my point. But stick with me here while I round the bases.)
We’ve been given a home to share. We want to be generous with our space. An extra toilet paper run hardly counts as irresponsible spending. So why the anxiety and shame?
I’m still working through the answer for that, and I think it has something to do with relying heavily on our budget to anchor our spending, which then anchors our financial future. If we don’t overspend now, we’ll have enough money later, my anxiety level reminds me.
But I can’t find a lot of biblical support for that train of thought. I find a lot of God calling us to be generous people, and then to trust him for anything we need. I hear Jesus calling out to the crowds to seek first the Kingdom, and everything we need will be given to us.
I don’t see any examples of God sitting down to micromanage our toilet paper budget with a disapproving eye.
So, please tell me. How does your family make financial room for generosity?
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need. So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries. Today’s trouble is enough for today. (Matthew 6:33-34, NLT, biblegateway.com)