Fearless in Faith Fearless in Giving
“Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong. Let all that you do be done with love.” 1 Cor 16:13-14.
Our Annual Stewardship Financial Campaign started October 23 and concludes on November 13 with Commitment Sunday. The theme is Fearless in Faith – Fearless in Giving. What does fearless in faith really mean? Fear is part of life. Fear has kept alive through the ages; protecting us from wild animals and such. Fear is part of the wiring God has giv- en us. It lets us know instinctively when we are in danger even when we aren’t consciously aware of it. Self-defense classes teach you to trust fear – if a situation feels wrong, then it is wrong. Bold and brave describe fearless.
You see, when we are afraid, we revert to our most primal selves. We protect ourselves and our tribe at all costs, because somewhere, deeply embedded in our gray matter, are these circuits that convince us that, suddenly, every- thing is at stake. There are times when fear serves us well. And there are times when it trips us up. The hard part is knowing the difference. To be faithful, at times, means to be fearless. And the only way to make that happen is through discipline and practice.
We now know this about ourselves as a species. Those neural pathways aren’t as hard-wired as we used to think. Through consistent practice and readjustment, we can be rewired for the kind of fearlessness that faith can call us to.
There are times when faithfulness calls us to acts of bravery of which we might not think we are capable. And yet, if it is truly faithful, God will give us what we need to step out in risk. It takes practice, and there are ample opportunities to do just that.
I want you to consider what it might mean for you to live your faith fearlessly. Fear convinces us that we live in a cul- ture of scarcity; if I don’t grab it, someone else will. If I give it away, then I am vulnerable. Faith calls us to trust: trust in the God of abundance and provision. We give it away as an act of faith in itself – not because we are fearless, neces- sarily, but because we have an opportunity to practice faithful bravery even while we remain somewhat skittish.
We are called to fearless giving, and are capable of far more than we think we are. Let us, in our giving, strive for the model of Moses’ mother. The life of her precious son was threatened. She did what she did motivated out of fear, yes, but also out of love and out of faith. She set her son adrift on the water in a vessel that was not seaworthy. She gave her son to the elements, trusting that God would provide. And in that act of trust, a people were given the hope of freedom, following this same helpless infant pulled from his basket of reeds and given a second chance to live and lead.
With this image in mind, is it any surprise that God would call us, too, to acts of faithful giving? As Christians, as dis- ciples of Christ, as followers of Jesus, we surely know that the fullest act of faithfulness was Christ’s own self-giving on the cross. He did it for our sake, not for his own. How can we not respond by our own selfless, fearless giving of what God has entrusted to us?
We, fed at the Lord’s Table, we are sent to feed. Nourished at this table, we are emboldened to live lives of faithful, fearless giving – of what we have, of what we are – to a world that is desperately hungry in body, mind, and spirit.
In this stewardship season, be prayerful. After all, it is what God desires of you, which is faithful. Trust God to lead you in fearless faith and in fearless giving.