Heather Bellamy spoke with Sheila Jones about how important giving is to God and the responsibility He places on us as He treats us as sons.

Sheila Jones
Sheila Jones

Whether we're rich or poor, many of us battle with a desire for more money; whether it's to feed our desires or give us security, we look to money as the answer. Yet the Bible says that we can't serve God and mammon, or money. Heather Bellamy spoke with Sheila Jones, who has learned many lessons about money in her years of walking with God.

Heather: How hard has it been for you to not serve money, but God over the years?

Sheila: I was very fortunate to have some good, straight, teaching when I was first walking with Christ. That teaching says that a tenth of our income belongs to the Lord. That's in the Bible.

It was a great shock to me. I was used to putting sixpence in the offering bag and not a tenth! But when I got used to the idea and put it into practice, I found it was perfectly alright and actually my money was better; it went further, because I suppose I was doing it the way God wanted.

Then from time to time God put it in my heart that I was to give and maybe it was quite a big gift. So I gradually grew in to the idea that I could give money away and it would be a blessing to do so. It wasn't a big issue.

Heather: You've also 'lived by faith' for a long time. What does that mean?

Sheila: Let's start with why I did it. I was working in India and I was on what would be a middle income allowance from my mission society. However the gardener on our compound was on a normal gardener's wage, so that meant I had 300 rupees a month and he had 80 and he had a family. So at the end of each month he would not have money to buy food for his family and he would be asking me if I would give him an advance and lend him money, which was not a healthy way to live. He was a Christian, church secretary and a respected leader in his church and I felt more and more uncomfortable with this. I thought that I couldn't say to him, "Brother you trust the Lord for your money," when I had so much without any trust involved. I felt, for other reasons as well, that God wanted me to, as it were, step out of the boat and start walking on the water, so that I could say from my experience, "Trust God." So that's what I did.

Heather: What did you do with your finances then that made it different?

Sheila: I resigned from the mission, so I had no money, it was as simple as that.

Obviously I prayed about it. It wasn't as suddenly as that, but I said, "Lord I will trust you. If you want me to serve you in India, you are the boss, it's up to you to provide the money".

I was wondering how to go back and then absolutely out of the blue, I received an invitation to go and work with a new church in Mumbai, which was absolutely what I wanted to do. Then I suddenly got a cheque from years before, from my provident fund as a teacher. It suddenly appeared, to my great amazement, which paid for my fare.

Money just came from here and there. I arranged with the bank to send out a certain amount each month, provided it was in my account and it came. The people must have put some money in the account, or I had gifts from other places.

Heather: What did you learn about God through living in that way?

Sheila: It's very practical. He knows what we need and He's not stingy. He has some definite principles, so that at the beginning all I needed to do was continue to pay the tithe and all my money was dealt with like that. But as time went on, He was teaching me how important it is to give.