Most of us want to give more to God. But debt, or a job change, or the ever present attitudinal tug-of-war going on in our hearts keeps us from actually doing it. I think it was Ann Landers who said, Most of us would be willing to pay as we go if we could just finish paying for where weve been! Boy is she ever right!
The giving of money is not designed to be a drudgery. God wants the use of all our resources to be a reflection of our love for Him and for one another. As people of faith in Jesus, we dont give out of guilt, we give out of freedom! I believe most folks want their priorities to be in line with God, like 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, God loves a cheerful giver. We enjoy giving, and would really like to do more of it. But how can we?
Jesus tells a story about a certain man whose land produced such a good crop that he becomes quite wealthy. Sadly, this guy decides to keep it all for himself. He builds bigger barns to store all his grain and goods for the three most important people in his world: Me, myself, and I.
We read in Luke 12:19-21 where the man thinks, And Ill say to myself, You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.
What should the man have done? We get a clue when God says to him, You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you! Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself? Jesus ends the story by saying This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.
We give more when we decide to be rich toward God. Whereas the man in the story couldnt see beyond the end of his nose, God want us to pass His blessings on. Im called to be a channel, not a clog, a river not a reservoir. This guy doesnt realize that at all. When he looks at life all he sees is himself. He had prepared for himself, but was poor toward God.
The problem with this rich man, or with me, is not the money! Thats never the problem! The problem is always the heart.
The problem is always the heart.
Like Paul told his young friend Timothy: its not money, but the love of money, thats the root of all kinds of evil. The use of things material is simply a reflection of our love for God and for one another. How we use money is our answer to the most important commandment test! Do we love God with all our hearts, soul, mind, and strength? Do we love our neighbor as ourselves? Or are our barns built simply for ourselves?
Author Kregg Hood has taught many of us, myself included, how to give more to God. Kregg tells of a time when a friend of his, Bob, took his family to a fast food restaurant. Bobs son sat down across from him with a tray full of french fries. Since he had not ordered some himself, Bob reached across the table to take a few fries but his son pushed his hand away saying, Dad dont touch my french fries!
Bob replies with plenty of drama and humor to make the point. He stands up, waves his arms, and declares with a smile, Dont you realize where those french fries come from?! I gave you the money at the counter just moment ago! I carried your tray to the table! I drove the car here for goodness sake! I bought those french fries! I can bury you in french fries!
Now give me a fry!
The truth was, Bob didnt want his sons fries. He wanted his son to be willing to share what his father had already given him. He wanted his son to be rich toward his father.
The path to greater giving is the same as the path to richer living. It is faith and trust in God. It is to know all we have comes from Him in the first place. The reason we should tithe is not because we have it all together financially! If we waited for that, who among us would ever get there?
We give because we have received. We give because we understand the nature of what life is all about. God doesnt want my french fries! He wants my heart, my soul, my mind, my strength.
Make a commitment to tithe to your church, give to support HEARTLIGHT, and give to help others. Thats being rich toward God, thats being rich in giving.