Carolyn Krisko Said "Yes"!
Six years ago we uprooted our family of three from our comfortable little New England life to move to North Carolina for a job opportunity...or so we thought. As it turns out, God had plans that were "immeasurably more" than what we could have dreamed up ourselves (Eph 3:20).
At the end of that year, we moved back to New England changed.
Spiritually, we were changed by an understanding of the radical grace God bestowed upon us through the sacrificial generosity of Christ who gave us his perfect righteousness and took on all the ugliness of our sins and their eternal consequences.
As the truth of the gospel permeated our hearts, it became the lens through which we viewed our world, our lives, our goals, and our purpose. We began to understand the principle that Jesus laid out in Matthew 25: Everything that we have, whether it be our talents, our treasure, or our time, has been given to us to steward for His purposes. Our response began to shift toward "God, all we have is yours because you are the source of all we have."
Once we had returned to New England, there were two major areas we chose to "put our yes on the table" in response to this newfound understanding.
The first was the pursuit of international adoption as we grew our family from three to four. Adopting and parenting our youngest daughter has been simultaneously one of the hardest and most rewarding journeys of our lives. There are not enough words to begin to really uncover how God has used this calling to challenge and change us. We can say that He has been undeniably faithful in every season and has revealed that His mercies truly are new every morning (Lam 3:22-23).
Second, we began to treat our finances as if they were not ours and prioritize the advancement of God's kingdom with the resources he has entrusted us with. With the understanding that Jesus didn't "tithe" his blood and life but gave it all, we changed our question from "how much must we give?" to "how much can we give?" (Keller, Counterfeit Gods).
C.S Lewis said that "the only safe rule" in giving is "to give more than we can spare" and we have tried to make that our benchmark. Truth be told, sometimes this feels really easy and other times it feels excruciatingly hard. Yet, we do hard things, not because of any "prize" we get from giving or some sort of prosperity gospel but because Christ did the hardest thing for us.
The truth is, we do receive a prize from our giving—the prize of knowing Him, which is far greater than anything we could buy or gain in this world. Sacrificially giving has been something that we have stayed committed to because we have seen God use it in incredible ways to shape our hearts and desires and draw us closer to him.
The more time we spend in the Bible and the more we learn of God, the more willing we have been to open our hands and give God control of the parts of our lives (financial and otherwise) we have been keeping clenched in our fists. It really is a beautiful thing; each time we say "yes" to sacrificial generosity of the resources (time, talents, treasure) God has given us, God's goodness and faithfulness and promises become more real and He becomes more glorious to us.