3/19/2012: More Blessed to Give
Right now, I am pressed for time. Tomorrow, I have an 8pm eye appointment for Lasik! I’m getting my eyes healed. “Lord I want to see” (Luke 18:41). However, what I feared is approaching and I want to share, despite my troubled mind, some things with you.
Yesterday, I read a portion of Don Piper’s 90 Minutes in Heaven. Heaven is really such a wonderful place. There is love and joy everywhere.
Today, by many accounts, can be seen as a good day. I’m getting Lasik eye surgery this week (tentatively, I will get it before I go back), and I was able to convince my dad to switch to a faster internet. I found the reason why our internet is so slow is because it is still using regular phone line connection. Phone line connection! Only 56k max.
Spiritually speaking, however, it is a stormy day. Yesterday, I told my dad the truth. I told him I only have a few thousand dollars in my bank account and I may need more money to go back to El Paso. I asked if I take out a loan, can he cosign it for me? He said yes. I felt relieved and thanked God.
However, today, right after talking to a representative about upgrading the internet, my dad hit me about my financial situation.
“Steven, you have been in the Army for so long and you only saved up this much money?”
I admitted I have been too generous. Throughout my Army career, I gave thousands of dollars to different people to help them with their life situation and to charities. My dad hated me for it.
“I want you to stop giving money to people and to churches and everybody.. It is all a trick. They just want your money” my dad will say.
“Do you not know? You give money to these people they will think of you as a fool.”
He refused to cosign if I needed a loan.
I know my dad. He’s always saving money and he hates giving them away. He thinks everyone, even Christians, are evil and “just want your money.” In terms of financial giving, my dad never gives.
I told him the Bible said it is “more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). My dad nearly blew up on me. He told me it is all garbage.
In hindsight, I should have saved more money. I gave too much, but, what belongs to God is God’s. I lacked wisdom in my early military years. I read a passage in the Bible that says, “The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously” (Psalms 37:21). After reading that, anytime a soldier needs help, I would help him. It doesn’t matter if that soldier goes drinking and to bars in the weekends. I don’t go there partly so I can save money and help them when they need it. I was very naïve.
But, the main reason I give is the belief that everything I have belongs to God. If I give, it doesn’t matter because it isn’t mine in the first place and God will bless me. I didn’t worry about money because I know the One who is infinite. If I need anything, I can just ask God. Plus, I believe when I give with a generous heart, I will have treasures in heaven and it is heaven, our next life that really counts.
My dad doesn’t see this. He only sees the here and now. I told him he needs to have faith that God will provide and it is eternality that really counts.
It was a bitter argument and I cried when I went back to my room. I thought about just going back to El Paso right now. Forget about the Lasik and the high-speed internet. My dad also told me to be quiet when I pray. I can’t stand it. I can’t stand being with my dad. My plans? My plan will just be heaven. I will just rent a hotel room and talk to God until my money runs out and then I’ll go to heaven. I already read what heaven is like. I can’t stand this evil world anymore.
Part of it is my fault. With wisdom, I should have saved more money so I can help myself to help others. But, it’s okay. “God will be the Judge,” I told my dad as I was walking back to my room.
As I was lying in bed and thinking, I asked God what to do. After asking Him, I remembered a Bible verse:
I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves. Matthew 10:16.
How am I supposed to deal with my dad? Should I just ignore him because of this incident? No, I must continue to love him. But, I feel this world and everyone around me are like wolves. I need to be shrewd and innocent. Thank you Jesus for giving me advice.
Actually my financial situation is not that dire. I am not stupid. I did save a few months worth of money and I applied for the GI Bill, FAFSA, and turned in my travel voucher. I should be okay, but I will not be financially comfortable. I will refuse any offer of help until I really need it. God sees the heart, let Him be the judge.
In this evil world, I need to be as “shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”