Adventures in Christian Living
By: Keith Newell

Brittany was still in the car. Tina had already walked across the
parking lot with Tyler and Alyssa and entered the church building. Meanwhile,
there I was standing in the brisk autumn air waiting for Brittany, doing "Who
knows what?" in the car.

"C'mon Britt!" I said forcefully. "What are you doing?"
She shrugged her tiny shoulders and continued to look around the
car while I waited impatiently for her. Finally she emerged from the car with a
smile, waving a folded-up dollar bill.

"I couldn't find my money I was giving to God." she said.
"Oh," was the only response I could muster. I felt like a crumb now
for losing my patience with her. "I see you found it."

"Yep! Let's go Daddy."
And like that we were off to the worship service. Brittany, feeling
happy that she found the money she had been waiting all week to give to
God...and me, feeling rather disappointed in myself for losing my patience with
an 8—year old trying to please Him. I pondered her desires to give back to God
as well as my own giving for many days after this event took place.

I have no doubt that God wants us to give back a portion of what He's
given us. Paul gives us instructions to do so in l Corinthians 16:2. This
command is not new to me as I‘ve known it for many years. However, the
events of that day forced me to do a little self examination.

Getting back to Brittany. Please realize that she doesn‘t give to God
every first day of the week. As her parents, Tina and I encourage her (as well
as Alyssa and Ty) to do so. However, seeing they are children with no "steady
income" they don't always have money to give. Also, we don’t force them to do
it either. We instruct, encourage and tell them what the Bible says, but it’s
always their choice. We want them to give from the heart. That made it even
more special that she decided to give "her" dollar to God. (A dollar doesn't go
as far as it used to, but it could buy some candy or go toward a toy.) Similar to
the account of the widow who gave "only" two mites and yet it was "ALL THAT
SHE HAD." (Mark 12:41-44)

Answer the following questions honestly. 1.) Do you give with a
cheerful heart? 2.) As you’re blessed with material gain (bonus or a raise, etc.)
do you remember that it is God who blessed you and therefore give more to
Him? 3.) Finaily, when you give, does it "hurt" a little? Are you sacrificing to
give to God or do you just give Him the leftovers? Before answering
remember the widow who gave so little and yet it was so much. Remember the
little child who is excited and happy to give back to God.

Isn't it funny that God some times uses innocent children to teach
adults important lessons in life'? Often we get busy and certain aspects of our
Christian walk can begin to suffer. If we are willing to listen, it is then that God
may use a child to say or do something to get our attention. Though it stung at
first, I was grateful that Brittany showed me all over again, the importance of
giving back to God.