Removing the Guilt from Giving

The son teaches his father a lesson

I feel guilty sometimes about consulting Jenny before making a charitable donation. I feel scared about it more like. It took the better part of a year for me to get up enough courage to make a donation to Food For The Poor. A lack of faith and trust in the Lord, on my part. He gives back many fold when we give to those in need. When I broached the subject of Food For The Poor with Jenny, she was happy that I wanted to give to them, and so it was done.

In years prior, I’ve given to K-Love, Air1 and FOCUS but nothing sustained. In 2014, I made a donation to the local Catholic Radio Network. I was listening semi-regularly and felt called to support their efforts to expand and improve. As 2015 began, I’d moved on from listening to the radio and started almost exclusively listening to podcasts. Leave it to my son to provide a great reminder about the importance of a successful local Catholic radio station.

Give and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure – pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.

– Luke 6:38

A representative from the came to speak at Holy Trinity recently. He was one of the better Mass speakers we’d had. Despite that, I dismissed what he’d said almost immediately after Mass ended. Again, I was reluctant to step out in faith and make a donation. Good thing his words made an impression on Jack. Jack went to Mom later that week and asked if she would make a donation. She was delighted to hear him think about others in such a way and agreed.

But First Seek His Kingdom and His Righteousness…

I was surprised by Jack’s request. He’s a good kid but he sometimes finds himself caught up in our materialistic culture. He talks often about the new Skylanders game, the newest Lego set, the latest kids movie. Money burns a hole in his pocket and our preaching to him to save a little, give a little, spend a little seems to fall on deaf ears.

He’s 8 so it’s to be expected, I guess. But it’s also a reminder of my role as a parent. I have to teach him that the most important thing in life is getting himself to heaven and taking as many people with him as he can. He won’t get to heaven by longing for the newest, biggest, and greatest game or toy. He’ll get there by longing for God’s will to be done. He’ll get there by giving of himself for the sake of others. He’ll get there by resisting the good while waiting patiently for the great.

But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

-Matthew 6:33

Sometimes I think, “How do I teach my son these lessons when I haven’t learned them myself?” I’ve made strides in rebelling against our but I still fall victim to scarcity thinking. My faith in God’s desire to shower me with his abundance isn’t quite where it should be. I take a year before discussing a gift with my wife, but my son has no fear and asks only a couple days later.

This is the devil’s work within me, no doubt. Wanting me to think I’m not worthy to teach my son because of my own failures. I’ve been told countless times that we all learn better when we immediately teach what we’ve learned.  I’ve even done this successfully in venues like Christ Renews His Parish. Devil, back away. It’s time for this father to do God’s work.

Thank you Radio Network for bringing the gospel to Kansas City day and night in English and Spanish and reminding this father of his role in his son’s faith formation. To learn more about the Catholic Radio Network, visit their site.

 

Todd K Marsha is a Catholic husband and father living in suburban Kansas City. Through his writing charism he tells the powerful story of his conversion to the faith, his triumphs through God's grace, and his continuing struggle to live a more Christ-like life.

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