Giving back to God
Giving back to God
It had never occurred to Rob and me that the term “giving back to God” didn’t make any sense to our kids. We had started using the phrase around them but hadn’t given any thought as to how it sounded to four- and six-year-old ears . . .
“Why does God need anything if He lives in heaven and everything is His anyway?”
“How do we get it to Him if we want to give Him something?”
“Why would God give us something and then want some of it back?”
Oops. Clarification was obviously required.
It all started when we received payment for having taken over a flyer route for a week in the summer while a neighbour boy was on vacation. Rob and I showed the kids how to separate their earnings into three piles: give back to God, save and spend. Benjamin balked at giving anything back to God, which was totally uncharacteristic of him. Normally he’s the one who would empty his piggy bank in a heartbeat if he saw someone in need. What was going on? After a few gentle questions, we figured out that he did not equate caring for others as “giving back to God.” When we told him that it is often one and the same, the light bulb went on. Brightly!
The discussion that ensued included topics like giving to our church so that we can have heat, light, Sunday school supplies, etc. Rob pointed out that we also pay our pastors and other staff. We talked about giving to various charities and reminded the kids of the items they chose from the World Vision catalogue last year. Disaster relief was touched on, as was buying lunch for a homeless person. The kids began to understand that God really doesn’t need anything from us but delights in our willingness to use our resources to care for His creation, especially other people.
Ben was elated to discover that all of these were examples of “giving back to God.” Gone was the reluctance, and in its place was the joy of a cheerful giver. This specific topic wasn’t in the actual Generosity lesson plan, but we’re glad the general teaching was a springboard for the conversation that took place.
Aside from that, we’ve been filling up our treasure chest poster with star stickers (couldn’t find the jewel stickers I wanted) and we’ve been trying to do little things here and there to show generosity to others. We’ll be wrapping up soon and moving on to whatever God has in store next.
P.S. I just discovered Rob and Jessica playing with our puppet collection. Rob had the cow and the pig discussing generosity with Jess. It was a fabulous conversation loaded with great reminders, and Jess was lapping it all up. How is it that kids will happily talk to a puppet about anything when the same conversation with an adult could make them yawn? Hmmmm . . . something to keep in mind for future lessons. Maybe we should include a puppet component in each of them?