What If You Have an Idea about How to Give, but Your Parents Don’t Think It’s Smart?

Question from a reader:

I’m 14 years old and have a question for you. I have a lot a Rubik's Cubes—15 of them actually—and I can solve most of them. I was reading Randy Alcorn’s book Money, Possessions, and Eternity, and I was seeing how much money I was stealing from God by buying so many Rubik's Cubes. I wanted to sell all of them and give the money to my church. I asked my mom if I could sell all of them on Facebook marketplace, and she thought I was crazy. What should I do?

Answer from Doreen Button, EPM staff:

I’m one of Randy’s helpers, and I love your question. Although you’ll have to answer it for yourself, someone as intelligent as you will most likely have no problem discerning the answer that will most please God after you read some ideas I’ll share below, especially if you pray and ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes and mind and heart to what He has to say to you.

When you said “she thought I was crazy” does that mean your mom has forbidden you to sell them, or that she thinks it’s not a great idea but you’re free to do it if you want? The answer is important.

In Jeremiah 17:10 God says, “I, Yahweh, search the heart and examine the mind, to reward each person according to their conduct, according to what their deeds deserve.” He is always much more interested in what we seek after and who or what we focus on than He is on our outward actions. You may have noticed that you can make people believe something about you that might not be quite true just by acting a certain way. God isn’t fooled by that. The positive side of His ability to see our heart is when we have to act in a way that doesn’t please us, but honors Him because it’s what He asks us to do. He understands and is happy for us because obeying Him even when it hurts will ultimately make us happy too.

“Hear, my son, your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching” (Proverbs 1:8) and“Honor your father and your mother” (Exodus 20:12) and “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right” (Ephesians 6:1) all talk about how important it is to God that we listen to our parents and do what they say. I’m sure Randy would be the first to say that obeying and honoring your mom stands way higher in God’s eyes than following Randy’s guidance about how to handle your money and possessions. On the other hand, obeying God (His command to love Him above all, and to love others as much as we love ourselves) is always primary.

So, if you’re not sure what your mom meant, talk to her about your desire to do what’s right and ask if she’ll give you her blessing to move forward with your plan. Or, ask if you two can work out a third alternative that fits both your desire and hers (an example might be selling the ones you’ve solved and keeping a couple that you haven’t). No matter what happens, God knows your desire and is glorified by that; and you now have a much better grasp on what to do with your money and possessions moving forward into the future.

Sometimes, when we seek God, He will plant desires in our heart that seem crazy to others (see Psalm 37:4). You’re at an age when you’re still under parental authority and also have beautiful ideas about how to serve God well. That can be hard when the two don’t seem in harmony, but with patience, prayer, and spending time listening to God through His Word, you will grow in wisdom and into a godly man with so much to offer our broken world.

Keep seeking God with all that is in you. Keep looking to Him and His Word for guidance!

(I’d love to hear what you decide to do.)

Reader response:

Thank you so much for helping me. I’ll definitely talk to God about it, and my parents.

Photo: Unsplash

Doreen is part of the Eternal Perspective Ministries staff, and helps Randy with editing and answering reader questions. She is a certified biblical counselor.