Tuesday, October 2, 2007

I Tithe Enough ...or... Why I'm Glad God Isn't Frugal

I remember receiving my yearly tithing statement from my church. I recall opening it up anticipating confirmation of our family's faithfulness. Funny, huh? Why do we play such games? Regardless, I opened it up and did a quick calculation in my head of the obligatory 10% and then looked to have it come in more than that. Then I thought about the untraceable funds that my wife and I give and other things that we buy that we might consider to be "offering" and supporting the ministry that we believe so much in.

My next thought was justification of why I didn't give more, coupled with a strange satisfaction that I had probably given enough. Right on the heels of that thought, however, was a sinking feeling that God just doesn't do that with me, does he? It was as if the Holy Spirit whispered in my ear, "you're so fortunate that I don't measure out to you in the same way!"

God doesn't look at us and say, "well, I think that's about enough blessing." He gives and gives, and then gives some more. Not only did God send Jesus to suffer and die to redeem us from certain death, he waits patiently for the fullness of his people to come in to the kingdom, and while waiting, makes a God-like promise that he will pour out blessings so great that we will not be able to contain them!

I'm glad that God doesn't keep the same strange balance with me and play mind games with himself. I would never want to hear from God, "I've given enough mercy. I've given enough grace. I've given enough comfort. I've given enough joy." I'm glad that he pours out of himself goodness, mercy, comfort, joy, hope and so much more that fills our lives with unspeakable blessings. I'm thankful that he gives out of the greatness and abundance of himself and in so doing, calls us and makes us able to pour out of the abundance of his Spirit in us into the lives of those around us.

Where would we be if God were frugal? I don't know, but I'm glad he's not!

God, thank you for your abundance. Thank you for the many blessings that we don't deserve, but you so quickly provide us. Thank you for using your standards of measurement and not ours. We trust that you have provided us these blessings for the growth of your kingdom and the fame of your name - not merely for ourselves. Teach us to be faithful in our giving - not only to our churches but to those around us. As we do so, confirm in our lives and the lives of those around us that our giving matters to you and your kingdom. Amen.

No comments: