Free to Give Back by Vicki Hollon

Free to Give Back

My dad retired from law enforcement with the state of Texas when he was 55 years old. He lived until October 21, 2016 when he was 82. In many ways it was incredible that he retired at age 55 given he always “made a living” but never made a lot of money. As someone inside the family, I know how my dad and my mom and my family did it. He was frugal and therefore we were frugal.

Being seven years older than my mom, it was my dad that especially knew what it meant to live on a farm through the Great Depression. His family could share a meal with others less fortunate, but like so many others, they had little to no money.

For years my dad preached against credit cards and debt. Though he did not have a college degree, he was good with numbers and he knew that paying interest would cost you money. While he and mom raised me, my two sisters and our two cousins, he spared every dime possible. However, through the financial pressure of feeding, clothing, educating, and keeping five children safe, there was never a question about giving money to the church. The lesson, “All we have is a gift from God” was bedrock in our family.

Now I find it freeing to have been taught to automatically give back to God for God’s work on earth. It is freeing to have the measurement of a tithe – a 10th. For me it is also freeing to just have my bank transfer that money to my church. However, I do feel a bit self-conscious when the offering plate is passed, and I am glad my husband weekly puts his offering envelope in the plate. I pray that you and I will continue to live and pass on that bedrock lesson that all we have belongs to God and is needed to do God’s work on earth.

In His Love,