“Giving or Leaving?”
By Jay Link, Stewardship Ministries
A gentleman recently asked me a thought-provoking question. He asked, “Do you think testamentary giving is really giving?” The answer to this question at first blush might seem quite obvious. But upon further contemplation, I’m not so sure it is all that obvious. Think with me about this. With lifetime giving you are voluntarily separating yourself from your possessions. With testamentary giving you are involuntarily being separated from your possessions when you can no longer keep them.
With the former your possessions are leaving you. With the later you are leaving your possessions. The first is voluntary, the last is involuntary. With one you are giving. With the other you are leaving. Viewed this way, there emerges a huge difference between these two. It has been my experience over the years that most people who have made plans to leave something behind for the kingdom after they eternally relocate could certainly make most, if not all, those gifts while they are still alive. This being the case, an important question must be asked. Why don’t people do all the giving they can while they are still here? I believe there are three reasons why people might opt for testamentary leaving instead of lifetime giving.
Here is a three step process to ratchet up your lifetime giving and experience more fun, more joy and more Kingdom impact during your lifetime than you ever dreamed possible.
Step #1: Imagine
Step #2: Plan
Step #3: Trust
Do you remember the story of the widow of Zarephath and Elijah? With her last bit of provisions she fed Elijah. And as a result God kept her bowl of flour and her jar of oil perpetually full. (Read I Kings 17:8-16.) “Our God’s hand is not too short to save, nor His ear too dull to hear” (Isaiah 59:1). Think about it. If we are willing to trust God for our eternity, surely we can trust Him for the short time we have left here on this earth. If we will focus our energies on maximizing our lifetime, Kingdom giving, we will find to our delight that the rest of our lives will actually prove to be the best years of our lives!
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