My mom taught me well, always buy on clearance, save for emergencies and retirement, give to church and charity, and don’t carry debt. There was no room for extravagances or brand names unless on clearance. In fact, when I find a great deal, I still call her and tell her all about it. I do enjoy finding a great deal, however there is a down side to this. A splurge of more than $50 leaves me feeling guilty. Somehow, it feels wasteful. I should be sharing it with others in need or saving it for my future.

What’s wrong with that? God calls us to give back to Him, to care for others, and manage our families responsibly. Recently, our family began planning a vacation that feels extravagant and irresponsible. I have been feeling guilty about it and justifying the expense to anyone who will listen. Then I heard Pastor Bill Hybels talk about enjoying our fruits. He shares a similar affliction and now has a new perspective. It is one I’m trying to embrace.

Hybels was asked if he enjoyed giving gifts to his children. He said yes and I agree. I love giving gifts, seeing faces light up and bringing joy to someone else. Just as we love giving gifts, so does God. God wants to delight us, surprise us and allow us to enjoy life.

17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. (1 Timothy 6:17 NIV).

This has allowed me to focus on how God has orchestrated this opportunity for our family. It is helping me accept it as a gift and blessing from the One who loves me more than I can imagine. I admit it still feels extravagant and this only happens to other families. Guilt has subsided and I am filled with joy and anticipation. I am ready to  enjoy the gift.

We are called to be responsible with what we are given and use it all for God’s purposes and glory. He wants us to enjoy His gifts. Are you able to fully enjoy God’s gifts? Do you struggle to handle His gifts responsibly? Are you a clearance shopper like me? It is easy for me to see the things God wants me to do for Him. I am learning to see that He loves to give to His children. How about you?

Share your how you have learned to enjoy God’s blessings. Breathe life and bring hope to others.

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