Last week, I attended the funeral for a woman I hadn’t seen in thirty years. She was the mother of one of my best friends in high school, who I’d also lost touch with. But I still carried both of them in my heart because of the impact they’d had on my faith journey.
Not surprisingly, the service revealed the lovely 93-year-old had a positive influence on four generations of family also in attendance.
I hung out at Tina’s house when we were in high school, as best friends tend to do, and got to know her mama. I came to love Ella’s gentle spirit and unassuming manner.
It was Tina who’d told me about her mother’s act of faith that’s stayed with me all these years.
One week, Ella had a decision to make. Money was tight. If she tithed on Sunday, as was her custom, she would not have lunch money for Tina. She tithed anyway, trusting God to provide.
On Sunday evening, she found a few dollars in a coat pocket. It was enough for a week of school lunches.
This simple act of faith got the attention of this teenager. Could the found money be more than coincidence as Tina and her mom believed?
Later, as a young mother teaching school, I was in charge of family finances. We were trying to build our budget to tithe and give God our first fruits. One month I wrote the checks, and it was apparent that if I gave the budgeted amount, I wouldn’t have the money to make our credit card payment.
I thought of Ella. Dare I step out in faith?
I decided to write the check to the church and hold off on the credit card and cut expenses so I could double up next month. When the statement came, I opened it expecting to see a late fee. But this wasn’t the case! I had paid extra the previous month, so a payment wasn’t even due.
Since that time, I’ve been blessed time and again by the Lord when I give although money is tight.
Tina’s story and her mom’s actions had a ripple effect. God used their testimony to plant a seed in my heart that has continued to grow since.
God later led me to use this personal experience in a devotion I wrote for a Sunday School publication. Who knows? Maybe it motivated someone to put their faith in God as they tithed. Maybe their action influenced someone else.
We never know the effect our words and actions may have on others—no matter how simple. God uses us if we let Him. We need to share our testimony, whether in conversation or writing. We don’t need a jaw-dropping, mired-in-sin, raised-from-the-dead story to steer someone’s heart toward God in some small way.
And we need to trust that God uses our words although we may not know it until we arrive at heaven’s gates.
We never know the effect our words and actions may have on others—no matter how simple. God uses us if we let Him. Click To Tweet
“For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:37 NIV).