Day 12 ~ EXamine Commitment
2 Corinthians 8:7-8
“Now as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in the love we inspired in you – see that you abound in this gracious work of giving also. I am not speaking this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love.” (2 Corinthians 8:7-8)
Praxis is the point where our faith and our actions intersect. Praxis is the point where what we believe and what we do join together. To put it simply, praxis means walking the walk as well as talking the talk!
Now that we have made a faith commitment, and now that we have earnestly sought God’s will in prayer, it is time to turn what we have learned into what we can do and will do. We are rounding third – finding ways to practice what we believe.
Now is the time to take inventory. Now is the time to ask another question: “OK Lord, what have You equipped me and blessed me to do?” What resources do I have to give? How can I think creatively about giving – beyond the narrow box of my income and expenses – in order to give of myself fully? Are there assets beyond my monthly income that I can give? Can I create new resources to give with my talents, gifts, and time? Does my faith commitment lead me to change other priorities in my life, reducing spending and thus freeing resources for giving?
There is no one “correct” plan that is right for everyone. There is no formula for the right pledge. Making faith real is a unique journey for every individual. Your praxis is your way of walking the walk. Talking to the church in Corinth, Paul knows there is no formula for giving. In fact, he realizes that he cannot command anyone about giving. Giving has to grow from the heart. But, as Paul well knows, giving is a test of the heart in action, a test of the genuineness of love. Giving is where what we believe gets real.
It is inventory time. Worksheet time. Time to get practical about God’s blessings in your life and what you can (and will!) do to financially support God’s work in this project. It is time to get real.
Prayer: Lord, I have heard Your word. Help me to be a doer of Your word.
Action item: Make some lists. First, identify (and give thanks for!) all that God has blessed you with. Second, come up with a list of as many ways of giving that are possible to you (for example: changing spending, monthly pledge from income, gift of assets, etc, etc). Begin to think of your pledge as a worksheet, and use this list as you determine your pledge over the next week.