Sunday, May 12, 2013


This life is not my own. Why should I be unwilling to give it away?

Oftentimes it's easy to just keep everything God has given to me and to be reluctant to give it away. I think the life of a relatively broke college student makes me value each dollar too much and fail to value the Giver or those in need.

Giving is much like serving, because the more you are committed to Christ, the more naturally instinctive it is to give of yourself and of what you have.

Acts 2 talks about the first church (not the First Church down on Jefferson Street; that wasn't really the first church). They set the precedent for what the church is supposed to look like. One of these actions pertains to giving: "They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. (Acts 2:45 [NIV])" They had a willingness to give whatever was needed because their love for each other was greater than the love of what they had. It wasn't that they just gave for no reason; it was that there was a reason.

Think about how the world would see someone who was willing to give up what s/he has. That's a foreign concept. I've earned what I have! It was a gift to ME! These attitudes may be warranted, but the Christian attitude is that all things are gifts from God. It's not mine and it's only temporary.

Now, when we talk about giving, we usually only think about money. But sometimes some of the hardest things to give away are actions. Think about how it seems easier to donate money to the Rescue Mission, but it's an inconvenience to actually go down and volunteer at the Rescue Mission.

But I have found myself having no problem giving of my time and energy. I feel that that's the only natural response. However, the semi-broke college student thing has convinced me to be cheap, and therefore it's even difficult to spend money on the people I care about the most. This attitude isn't right. I think it's why God challenged me to begin tithing: to train myself that all things are His to begin with. It's a standing challenge that I believe will train me to recognize the value in trusting the Lord with those things.

The verse in Malachi 3 that says to bring the tithe into the storehouse is well-known, and people debate whether it means that Christians are still under the legal obligation to tithe. Regardless of this view, God's promise at the end of that verse is clear: "Test me in this, and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it. (Mal. 3:10b [NIV])"

In other words, giving your best to the Lord will produce blessings above and beyond anything that we could ever imagine. So why are we so reluctant to give?

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