“We should give from our hearts, within our capacity, and out of our freedom — not out of compulsion or under pressure. We must be motivated by the desire to glorify God and to be a blessing.”
GODLY GIVING REPLENISHES
Women are renowned for giving until it hurts and putting others first. mpowerment coach, Felicia T Scott, says it’s important for women to give from a healthy place, by practising godly giving
I’m no stranger to putting myself last — thinking that everyone’s needs are more important than my own. I am equally familiar with the seething resentment and despair that is born when we fail to give from a place of strength and emotional health.
For years, I watched as others moved forward with their dreams, while I was stuck at a standstill. I felt abandoned and depleted. I had nothing to give to others and, more importantly, there was nothing left for my purpose. In my frustration, I blamed God. I’d done the right thing…the Christian thing. I was a giver. So, why wasn’t He honouring my sacrifices?
Many women know the pain of giving too much. As little girls, we watch our mothers, aunts and sisters literally lose themselves in taking care of others. It’s not that we don’t know we’re burning out — we don’t know how to stop! To not give can even seem unchristlike. The first step to being a healthy giver is understanding and accepting that all giving isn’t ‘godly’.
In 2 Corinthians 9:6-9, the Bible sets the parameters for godly giving. We should give from our hearts, within our capacity, and out of our freedom — not out compulsion or under pressure. We must be motivated by the desire to glorify God and to be a blessing. If we give in obedience to His instructions, the Word promises that God’s grace will abound to us. Godly giving nourishes the giver!
So, why are there so many broken and depleted givers in the body? The harsh truth is that we sometimes give from our weakness, not His strength. As a frustrated giver, I had to seek God for wisdom.
Here’s a checklist from my road to freedom to help you evaluate your intentions:
- Emotional Hoarder – Root issue: You fear rejection. Hoarders give to gain or keep acceptance. They fear saying No and drawing boundaries, because they seek approval from others. They sow from the fear of rejection and, as a result, they reap distress.
I was a Hoarder who feared losing the people I loved. I didn’t understand that every time I said “Yes” to the wrong things, I was saying “No” to God’s purposes for me. I lived in a state of spiritual depletion, because I cared more about being accepted by man than being obedient to God. I didn’t understand that my actions hurt me and possibly the people I thought I was helping.
If you’re a Hoarder, you must learn to desire God’s acceptance above all else. Burdening your relationships with the responsibility of your self-esteem will not help you grow.
- Remote Controller – Root issue: You crave control. The Remote Controller gives to manipulate and exercise control over the receiver’s actions and decisions. In order to ensure others act in ways they approve, Remote Controllers attempt to limit options.
If you’re a Remote Controller, stop using giving to manipulate people and circumstances. Instead, practise open and direct communication in your relationships. Replace the money or things you’ve used to get your way, with vulnerability and honesty.
Accept that others have the right to make bad choices. Share your concerns, and then turn your focus to accepting and respecting their right to make a decision you don’t endorse.
- Enabler – Root issue: You are driven by pride. Enablers care more about the emotional empowerment they feel from giving, than how their actions impact the receiver. While fear of rejection and the desire to control outcomes may play a part in their giving, their primary motivation is satisfying their ego.
Enablers are depleted by unhealthy giving and their pride, which inhibits their ability to receive. Need is viewed as weakness and, therefore, Enablers deny their own. They operate against the God-instituted laws of giving, by refusing to allow others to sow into their lives. Enablers actually retard their growth and the receiver’s, because God works in our lives when we submit to His principles.
Godly giving cannot be separated from obedience and submission to God. Before we give, we must ask ‘Does this truly honour Him?’ Otherwise, we’ll end up drained in all areas of our lives. If you want restoration from unhealthy giving, the key is to give according to God’s grace. Giving in the ways He instructs will energise our spirits, and give us the restoration we need.
Live It! If you’re an unhappy giver, take time to evaluate the source of your discontentment. Address the unhealthy patterns you discover in your giving. Hoarders need to practise saying No, and drawing boundaries. Remote Controllers must practise direct communication, while letting go of the need to control others. Enablers must open their hearts to gratitude and humility, by accepting God’s provision through the hands of others.
Felicia T Scott is a Certified Empowerment Coach™ and was recently named the “North America’s Next Greatest Speaker” by eWomenNetwork. Like her at www.facebook.com/AskCoachFelica, or follow on Twitter @askcoachfelicia