In the month of July, I want to introduce you to a few of our team members at Generosity by Lifeway. I am so honored to lead a team that lives the message in many ways. Today, I want you to meet Rob Dupree. He began with our team as a Generosity Specialist and excelled at serving churches. Now, he is our Success Coordinator and we call him “Red Carpet Rob.” At a recent staff meeting, Rob shared this story and we were all in stitches. Enjoy Rob recounting a time in his life when he found generosity to be hard.
When Generosity Is Hard
By Rob Dupree, Success Coordinator
I recall facing a humbling sacrificial moment as a young man in my 20s. I was a student at Charleston Southern University. (Go Bucs!) I lived a close distance from the school and made the commute each morning. I loved living at home with Mom and Dad! They gave me free room and board as long as I was in school. I traveled with a band on the weekend, played worship music for Youth Ministry Events, and got a little cash afterward. I worked at a Christian bookstore and earned spending money. I also worked a job on the College campus where I learned to build bunk beds, repair doors and windows, and clean the halls of the dorms. The money I earned helped pay for gas and books for school. Outside of these overhead costs, the money I earned was mine to enjoy however I pleased. While most college students were poor, eating PB&J sandwiches, paying for the cost of living on campus, and savoring the moment when they could enjoy the feeling of a dollar bill in their pocket; I was living the high life and enjoying meals out, movies, travel, and fun. I wasn’t rich by any stretch of the imagination, but I felt the freedom of having the means to enjoy what I wanted, when I wanted it. It was then that God reminded me that all of His great provision has a great purpose.
I had become accustomed to talking about the financial freedom I had, along with always including a statement about God’s goodness and provision. It had become my motto to always give God credit. I’d tell myself that I was bragging about God, and this had to be a good thing. Who was I fooling? As another school semester came to a close and many were leaving campus for Christmas, I was approached by a young man who had heard me bragging about my financial blessings. He needed help and was bold to ask for it. He requested enough money to get a plane ticket so he could go home and see his family. Wow, plane tickets were expensive! A taxi to the airport was also expensive. All of a sudden, I didn’t feel like I had a lot of money. I began to feel like a college student who wanted to cling to that precious dollar bill as if it were a scarce commodity. I began to fear the change of plans this would mean. I’d need to go home and make PB&Js for lunch, remember to pack that lunch and cancel the plans to hang out with the guys on the weekend. This would wreck all my plans! But wasn’t it God who provided the money? Wasn’t it Him whom I credited? What would He want me to do? I realized that I’d been enjoying the wealth all for myself, but now it was someone else’s turn.
His plans are often different from our own, but He always provides the means by which to do all that He calls us to do. Giving isn’t always easy, but the peace and joy that comes with a giving moment is so valuable! My motto needed to change: Always give. Always give to God. No regrets! As always, God provided more opportunities to earn money and more opportunities to give what I had away. He has never failed to provide in my time of need. He has also never failed to offer another opportunity for me to be the catalyst for his provision in another’s life. God is my provider, and sometimes His provisions are for others. Go unleash giving today!