“Some of our people took extra jobs, others went without legitimate expenditures, and many arranged for loans which could be paid back over a one-or two-year period.” Elizabeth O’Connor, Call to Commitment
Some people can point to events they experienced that changed their lives forever. That happened to my husband and I when we read Elizabeth O’Connor’s book, Call to Commitment, the story of the Church of the Saviour.
The small band of Christians that started the church studied and worked together and gave more than generously of their time and efforts, but it was their attitude about money and the quotation above that has had the greatest impact on us.
Twenty years ago I co-chaired a capital campaign for our church because we desperately needed a larger sanctuary to accommodate our growing congregation. One day, when the new building was close to completion, Dave and I were given a private tour of the facility. We were told that the massive blank space on the wall in the front of the church would eventually hold a big rear-projection screen and the high- powered digital projector required to make it work, but there wasn’t enough money left to include it.
When Dave asked what it would cost we were told: “It would be $10,000 if we could put it in now, but it will cost $20,000 to do it later.”
“Do it now,” Dave said, “and we’ll pay for it.” Not, “we’ll talk this over and see if we can afford it.” Just “do it, but don’t tell anyone where you found the money.”
Since we couldn’t write a check for that amount we visited our banker. “Let me get this straight,” he said. “You want to borrow money so you can give it away?” We were concerned the bank which also provided a credit line for our small business would turn us down, but they didn’t.
Would we have borrowed the money if we hadn’t read about those members of the Church of the Saviour who did that? Nope. That possibility would never have occurred to us, but few things we’ve done have given us that much pleasure.
Giving, we’ve discovered, is an important spiritual discipline which has helped us grow in our faith.
Blessings on your efforts to see if it helps you too.