On Friday and Saturday I went to a conference on stewardship (that's church code word for the spiritual practice of sacrificially giving our money, our abilities, and our desires). One comment really struck me:
"Americans are anxiety junkies."
It's true. We're anxious about everything. We're anxious about the stock market. We're anxious about the Mavs beating the Heat. Heck, we're even anxious that we're so anxious.
And hoarding money doesn't help our anxiety about money. Just look at Bernie Madoff. That dude was so anxious about money that he just had to get more and more until it literally destroyed lives.
Giving of whatever it is that we treasure is what God desires. When we release ourselves from what controls us, from what creates anxiety, then we're free to love freely.
Years ago a woman walked into St. Alban's looking for help. She had a new job and needed gas money, so the church gave her some cash. It wasn't the money that was important - it was the fact that the church wasn't anxious about not having enough for the next person who came in looking for help or anxious if she would use it to buy booze and cigarettes.
Just today we received a donation from her. She had made some money in her new job and was back on her feet. She freely gave what was given to her. It wasn't the actual amount that mattered - what mattered was that she was free to freely love. She wasn't anxious - she was liberated.