People may label me today as “blessed” with my career but many have just actually barely scratched the surface because behind all these “blessings” is God’s faithfulness.
Just like any TV drama, I hustled and overcame financial difficulties and other tough challenges from my childhood days to my college years. I know the feeling of having no money to pay my tuition fees. I had been through days and weeks without allowance. I had experienced the shame of not paying my dormitory fee for months. In spite of my busy college days at school and ministry, I know the feeling of having no rest because I have to work to somehow support my needs. I am not saying that I have nothing at all throughout because I also had “somehow” support from my family and relatives. But to be honest, my family did not know exactly the extent of difficulties I had been because aside from many other reasons, I was away with them (our province is about 12 hours travel).
I remember that there was a point in my childhood days that I argued with God, “How can YOU bless someone more who is far LESS deserving than I am? I take my studies seriously. I have been ”good” but why don’t I have the means to fulfill my dreams?” With everything that happened in my family, I grew up in bitterness. I was like a white-washed tomb, looking good on the outside but was consumed with my pride in the inside. I cover up my fears with the awards I was receiving and with my friends who enjoyed my company. I was driven to succeed for the reason that I just want to break free from the shame of how people see us…
How did I manage to finish my degree? Like I always love saying, I am a product of generosity. God made me feel HIS goodness in tangible ways through His people. When I moved to my university (University of the Philippines at Los Banos), I thought “freedom” was at hand because finally, I am away from home but little did I know, God was actually setting me up to understand what TRUE FREEDOM really means. He connected me to a Christian family. During my first month in a new place, it made me wonder how can these newly found friends be so good to me? They barely knew me! More than the financial support especially when I was admitted to the hospital, I felt the sincerity of their love. Then in our dormitory, 2 friends knocked on my door and invited me to join a gathering (which is the church I am now attending). I have seen the culture of a family and this shaped who I am. They are not rich or have fancy cars or things like that, but out of their “lack”, they gave.
So back to the question, why am I giving my tithes and offering? If I can see more transformation of lives through the church, what is there to stop me from taking part of it? Of course, I can offer more than these but if I have seen the goodness of GOD in my life, how can I not trust Him with my finances? If I have tasted God’s faithfulness, how can I deny Him of me co-laboring with Him in building up the church? Suffice to say that I have seen how generosity can transform lives and how love expressed in tangible ways mold one’s heart. I am immensely blessed how the works of GOD through our church and if there is at least one person out there that can be transformed too, then with all my heart, I am all in. I am all in to bless the pastors, the church and its works. People may argue with the 10%, well, why not? It’s their hard-earned money! But as for me, I am just grateful that God entrusted me with the 90% that it’s His to begin with. I am not saying I am the “best” on this as in fact I know some people especially in my church who give so much more than I do but I can attest to the faithfulness of God when we know how to honor Him with our riches.
“How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!” Romans 10:14-15, NASB
If I may add, how will we send if no one is supporting? Whether we like it or not, we are still on earth wherein we need finances to operate.
Well, this is my story and you may have a different one but the main reason why I give is because GOD IS GOOD.