Monday, October 12, 2009

pay it forward...

The Lord has gave and the Lord has taken away, Blessed be the name of the Lord (Job 1:21).

As I drove through the rural area en route to my speaking event this weekend something gnawed at my soul. It was money. I knew I was going to be given some form of payment, but I hate dealing with honorariums and speaking fees. Quite honestly, it makes me feel like like I'm prostituting God's word. At the same time, this is how I make my living and I want to accept the blessings of others who appreciate my time. The pendulum swings back and forth on this issue and I vacillate on how to handle this quandary. So I called my mentor who succinctly said, I need to be direct: God's word is free, but gas isn't. Your time and knowledge is worth something. You didn't ask for a specific amount, so just trust that they'll give you what they can afford.

When I left they handed me a beautiful basket full of lovely items... and an envelope with a check. But it was if I was Superman and the white envelope was kryptonite. I couldn't touch it.

Yesterday at the small group study I teach, I ran into a young lady who moved away to school but came into town to visit us. As a student of Biblical Studies and Evangelism, she's like an amazing cross-breed between Joan of Arc and Billy Graham... except really pretty. Everyone squealed when she entered the room because she has a presence that warrants excitement and joy. After the study ended, we got a chance to connect and she shared that she had a large school payment due at school today, she had no idea how she was going to come up with the money, but she trusted God would provide.

In that moment, I KNEW why I accepted the honorarium from the speaking engagement. As she was talking, I reached into my purse and handed her the entire check. Confused and dazed, she looked bewildered as she said, I wasn't asking for money. Why are you doing this? I simply told her the money was never mine to begin with. It was God's money. Now she has to pay it forward and do unto others as she would like done to her.

Nothing has changed from the days of Acts or the Early Church. We are still called to help those in need, weep with those who weep, and rejoice with those who rejoice. In modern vernacular, pay it forward. This is not motivated by President Obama and sharing a piece of the pie. This is loving like we are called to love. So pay it forward today. Do unto others as you would like to be done. Blessed be the name of the Lord.


Diandra Ann said...

What a great story! thanks for the reminder. And also the reminder to trust God to provide. I especially needed that today. xoxo

Tish said...

GREAT post! Just now getting caught up on your blog...can't wait to read all these posts!

Hope you will write more about money in the future!

Anonymous said...

You truly are an amazing Christian. I honestly have to say that there a just a few people at church with an honest heart as yours. You have a gift of love and you are using it so good. God Bless you Bianca and I pray to God that one day I can learn how to love for real because sometimes I don’t know what is love? because we just said it I love you but without mean it!!!

Lydia said...

Amen! I seem to say that every time I read your posts! And correct me if I'm taking it out of context, but Paul encourages believers to support those in ministry (the ox treading analogy). It's all about loving--including those in ministry!

Bianca said...

So true! I don't want to seem like money isn't important. It totally is. But this month, my budget has kept me on track and God's provided my needs (and some wants).

Why should I hoard this money if I don't have to, you know? God is good.

Anonymous said...

It sounds like you're boasting.

Don't be a pharisee and do your deeds in the day... or on your blog.

Kaitlynn Chritton said...

Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us readers day after day. It is so much more meaningful to me when someone can share what is on their heart with a real example rather than simply telling us what we should do. Thanks for putting Christ love into motion.

Aren't we so blessed that God does provide. Month after month as the bills are due, I continue to be in awe of his provisions.

I hope you are having a wonderful week!


Bianca said...

Dear Anonymous,

Thank you for your concern and questioning my motives. I would like, however, to clarify that I would never want to be a hypocrite.

If I spoke about giving to those in need, yet did not do it, I would be a hypocrite. If I boasted in my wealth, yet gave a small fraction back to those in need, I would be a hypocrite. I don't have much--but the little that I do have, I passed back to someone who needed it more than I.

If my crown in heaven is tarnished because I posted this on my blog, but it motivated others to give to those in need, so be it :) I'll walk around bare-boned in heaven so someone here can buy a coat.

Cindy A. said...

I teared up when I read your blog today because I was one of those what squealed when our pretty (and gifted!) guest entered the Genesis house on Sunday night. My heart reaches out to her, especially when I hear all that she does in order to pay for school and missions. To me, she is an example of how a love for God motivates us daily and you are an example of how God's touch reaches us when He seems so far away.

Thanks for sharing! Pay it fwd, people!

Anonymous said...

That morning before service she had told me how anxious she was about paying for school and yet there was still a peace about her. She told me that she had no idea how she was going to get the tuition paid for, but that GOD was going to provide. She had a faith that I'm not sure I could have had in the same situation.
B, I know it doesn't have to be said, but God really did provide for her and I thank you for allowing Him to use you.

KATEE said...

that's so right...
so beautiful...

pray the Lord continues to bless you B...

katee grace :)

KATEE said...

and... yes, what a testimony to His provision... being in a place of needing radical provision (school related) I am humbled and encouraged and grateful for this post, His mercy, His provision and this community...


the end.

Leanne said...

And this is exactly why I love reading your blog ... thank you. :)

Cindy Lee said...

Oh I couldn't agree more. I wrote about this myself on Oct 6th on my Facebook.

You are an amazing woman and such a blessing to this world. I thank God for wonderful women like yourself. xx

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