The Law of Reciprocity
Your Motivation Matters!
By Zsa Zsa Palagyi
The 700 Club
There are people in this world who are crying out to God for help this very minute. You can end hunger and thirst, bring medical and disaster supplies, provide jobs, and give hope to millions of hurting people. When you join, you help preach the Gospel in 139 countries and 62 languages around the world. Do something that will last for eternity.
Find out more about how CBN partners are making a world of difference...
CBN.com - When Mike and Melissa Smithson married, they planned to live the American dream! Melissa graduated with a psychology degree and Mike was a talented graphic designer. But the only work they could find was a paper-route and close-to minimum wage jobs.
I was only bringing home 250, 300 dollars a week maybe. Maybe less,” Mike painstakingly remembers. “We were eating the classic spaghetti, ramon noodles, hamburger, anything that would really last a long time.”
Melissa adds, “I had to budget down to every single penny that we made and sometimes we even had to not pay something. And I felt like we were hitting brick wall after brick wall.”
So Melissa went back to school for a masters degree. And with the help of family, Mike opened his own graphic design company. After a month, Mike started running into some financial challenges. Then the couple saw a 700 Club program that gave them an idea.
Mike says, “They had stories of people that joined the 700 Club and how amazing life turned out for them.”
Before, the Smithsons had only given when it was easy or they could afford it. This was neither—but they still called in their pledge. While Mike says he gave with God’s plans in mind, Melissa admits she had an ulterior motive.
Melissa explains, “It wasn’t for God’s work. It was to do it solely so I could see a change in my own finances and in our lives.”
But when their finances didn’t improve immediately, Mike’s attitude on giving took a turn, as well. “It was more of – it was MY money and ‘I’ was donating it, you know, so ‘I’ deserved something back for that.”
After a few months, business was so bad it appeared that Mike would have to close his shop. Then, he received an e-mail from CBN, asking if he had any prayer requests. He replied. “It’s like ‘I don’t want this business to fail, this is my life, this is what I enjoy doing, and I just -- I need help.’ I just started to cry and just kept praying and asking ‘Why? What did I do?’ And it just dawned on me like my heart was not with God. I just asked for His forgiveness. And I told him, ‘This is yours, everything is yours!’”
Both Mike and Melissa's motivation for giving changed. A few days later, someone saw Mike’s artwork on-line and asked him to produce all of the creative retro designs for the new Johnny Cash Museum in Nashville.
“What better than Johnny Cash? I mean I’m a huge Johnny Cash fan,” Mike smiles. “So God was just like ‘ha ha!’ You know It’s like ‘I told you, you put your life in my hands. I got your back. I will take you where you want to go!’”
Melissa adds, “It was pretty amazing. It definitely felt like a miracle.”
Mike showed off his work at a recent press conference in Nashville. Since then, his business has picked up -- and Mike says the Johnny Cash designs will help to keep him busy for many years!
“It’s like God hit a home run with this one!” Mike says. “We have funds to pay our bills, we have the funds for everything that we need. And it’s like I think God really matured us.”
For anyone struggling with their finances, the Smithsons offer this.
“I have learned with donating to CBN that the money is not mine. It’s God’s. If you’re living paycheck to paycheck, you can still donate,” Mike suggests. “You just have to trust, and He will bless you in so many different ways whether it’s spiritually or financially it will just, He’ll take care of you."
Being obedient to God's truth made an incredible difference for Mike and Melissa. They made themselves available for God's love to flow through them to others, and they are reaping a blessing themselves as well. Join them in partnering with CBN. You will make a difference in lives around the world, through medical missions, food and clothing programs, humanitarian outreaches and so much—all in the name of Jesus.
Please join today.
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