As a believer, you live each day out like most other people. You have your ups and downs like anyone else. You work hard, deal with various difficulties, have a hectic schedule, and even do much more than anyone ever seems to notice. The difference between you and anyone else comes down to whether you feel life owes you something or you owe something to life. Maybe, better yet, God owes you something, or you believe you owe something to God. It’s really a matter of perspective which basically develops from a matter of thanks-giving.
Let’s be honest but many people always want to know what they are going to get and are very unconcerned with who gives. It’s simple – people like free wifi and its something very expected when they enter stores, restaurants, or stay in a hotel. Yet, its not free. Someone has to pay (give) so you can have it (get) wifi without any expense to you. We go to stores and expect sales and deep discounts (get) but the store has to be willing to compromise the price (give). Without even realizing it, we easily get into this mindset of making sure we are getting what we deserve without giving any consideration to our responsibility to give so others can get.
Do this for me, do that for me, help me work on this project, take out the trash, give me a ride to the store….get, get, get….and we give little consideration to when we give back. If we’re not careful we start to bring this mentality into the church and we’ll only give sufficiently for what we feel we are getting while forgetting our giving is to be based on our attitude towards God rather than the leaders of the church, other people in the church, or what we think the church offers us in particular.
Is it worth my while….
to give? Worth is a funny thing because we establish value three ways to decide what something is even worth. First, we have an idea of what something is worth dependent on its reputation….it’s a matter of what I’m willing to pay for that type of item, but my value for differing brands of the same item can fluctuate where I’ll pay more for one brand over another because its ‘better’. Two pairs of sneakers can be priced the same, but you view one brand as more favorable than the other and you’re willing to pay that amount for that pair. Secondly, worth or value is established by what I want. I may be willing to pay much more for something than you may choose to pay because I have a particular interest whereas you don’t. So, what I want will change the value of what I pay for something. Lastly, there is need. I may not want to pay $3 for a gallon of gas but because I’m about to run out of gas, and driving is always better than walking, I’m going to pay for it so I can get where I’m going. Whether I like it or not, I’ve established to that gas station that there are people who value their gas enough to pay such an exorbitant price over other competitors and they won’t feel the need to change it. The brand doesn’t have a good reputation, and I don’t want to pay it, but I do because I need it.
Do you need Jesus? Each of us does, so why would we withhold anything from Him dependent of what we feel He should give to us. Nobody likes the church talking about money, but Jesus did and He was clear how those who could handle earthly riches would be found worthy to handle spiritual riches. Most believers I know would like to have spiritual depth, but its difficult to become spiritually deep when we cling to money so tightly and desire to get so much more of it rather than just be faithful as God has asked. No one likes to talk about tithing, and many want to argue it away for the believer but in the end God has left 90% for us and asked for only 10% to invest in His work, or rather to prioritize His work.
He’s the Creator and I’m created, so who am I to say He’s not worth my giving? I’m sure there are many excuses I could come with as to why I shouldn’t have to, or better yet, why I choose not to, but the work of God must be worth something to me. It must be important enough for me to give as He has desired. It’s not overwhelming or even oppressive, but I know as I give, His work can be better equipped to reach the lost. Are not lost souls worthy my faithfulness to Him?
What does it say to Him if I don’t want to give to Him because I’m too busy giving to other interests in my life I’ve decided are more important? As a believer, I can be so focused on being a getter (I know, I made up the word) but since He gave so much, and saw me worth the giving of His life, surely I can give Him mine, and even be faithful with my finances. New TV’s, cars, hobbies, are not evil in and of themselves, but if my involvement in any decreases my ability to be faithful then I have an issue with my priorities. Jesus put me before Himself…in other words, He put my need for eternal life and restoring my ability to have a relationship with God before His own physical welfare. After all, He doesn’t demand it all, but He does desire my faithfulness, and I should too.
What I received because of Jesus’ death wasn’t free. He paid the price for my sin, so I could have eternal life in Him. Are you saved because you give faithfully? No, that’s not at all what is being said or implied here. Yet, faith and works do complement one another and illustrate the right priorities of a believers life. Even then, its not just about finances, but about my whole life being His. Let’s remember, the servant serves the master, and each of us are His servants, so let’s serve Him well.
Live it out….
I will be a thanks-giver; making it a matter of my will to give out of a thankful heart.