Have you ever seen a Chinese finger trap? It’s that little woven tubular thing that you put two fingers in, generally one from each hand, and when you go to pull them out, they are stuck. In essence, it’s a kinetic riddle, and it’s often one of the first that children are exposed to. What’s interesting about the trap is that the harder you pull on it, the tighter it gets; the only way to get your fingers out is to push in! When you push both fingers toward the center of the tube, it loosens and you are free. The same thing is true of a seatbelt in a car — the harder you pull, the tighter it gets. The principle to be learned from these illustrations is that you have to lean in to certain forms of discomfort in order to feel their benefit, even though doing so may be counterintuitive.
Friend, this is the heart behind being a person of Kingdom generosity. Though it may feel like leaning into a knife, when you are unselfish, you break through the pain it causes as you come to understand that giving sets you free. In fact, if you need something, you should give; when you do that repeatedly, you train yourself into a mindset of abundance and not scarcity. If you’re poor, homeless, broke, or in debt, and somebody gives you $10, give a dollar of it back, either to the church or to someone in need. Though it doesn’t seem like much, I promise you that doing that simple thing will touch God’s heart — this is what the widow’s mite teaches us. When you develop the habit of giving away the first part of everything you are blessed with, the Lord will open up the floodgates and pour out opportunity, knowledge, wisdom, and provision. I think this is great news, don’t you?