Money. It's never an easy topic to talk about, culturally we don't talk about our finances, Jesus also makes it clear in Matthew 6:1-4 that giving to the poor should be a private affair, so it comes as no real surprise in the age of bank transfers that no one knows if anyone else is even giving.
I always found that the biggest areas of growth in my spiritual journey has been I heard a testimony on something and realised that actually this is something I need to be doing in my own life. So I'd start asking questions, I'd copy what others do and I'd grow in that area. For example; in my first year of University I realised people our age actually went to prayer meetings and that they are important. So I went (I even use to go to dynamic prayer) and in watching other prayer warriors I learnt to pray in different ways and into new things and it's not real surprise that my own prayer life grew.
However, when no one talks about giving, how can we be challenged? How can we step out in faith and trust God when we have no one to learn from. When we are completely unaware if anyone our age actually gives, isn't it easier to just listen to the voice in our head that says that we can't afford to give. That we're struggling to get by as it is (whilst buying a coffee on campus each day) because let's be honest, that amount I could give wouldn't make a difference to anyone. So I might as well keep the money myself and enjoy my daily coffee. But the problem there isn't the lack of giving, but the heart behind it. For some of you, your financial situation will mean you can't give and that's okay, but for most of you it will mean sacrifice, but when we give to God it always involves a sacrifice. And as the sacrifice gets bigger, it'll be harder to do, so my suggestion would be to learn now when the sacrifices are smaller.
I'm not saying we need to be giving away our student loan, but I would like to challenge you all to give something. This coming Sunday is Gift Day at church, and it would be great if each one of you could pray about how much you should give. It might be a one off gift, but if you are a regular member of this church maybe it should be the start of regular giving.
Also, for those of you who weren't around last year I wrote two blogs on why we give, looking at how everything belongs to God and therefore we need to ask ourselves so what are you giving back to him? Learning to give when you are a student is important and remember it's not the amount that matters but the heart behind it.
Jess is part of the student team and enjoys walks along the beach.