I took a spiritual gifts test when I became a member of my church.
“I like to help those in need if I am financially able to.” Agree.
“I give a strong percentage of my income to missions and tithing.” Kind of agree.
“I joyously reach into my wallet and pop some cash in the plate when it comes by.” Disagree.
Those weren’t the exact questions, but you can imagine the growing sense of guilt I felt as they got progressively more intrusive. Giving is not my gifting, at least not financially. Give time? Sure. Give advice? Absolutely. Give money? Uhhhhh, for what?
It was an eye-opening moment into the heart of this giver.
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7
Let me be clear, God doesn’t need your money. BUT, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give. He asks us to do so with a joyful and gracious heart. He asks for our first fruits.
First fruits… Like apples? Bananas? What does that even mean?!
Let’s pretend you go apple picking with God.
Once you fill up your bucket, God tells you he would like a mere 10% of the apples (which is a bargain since he paid the full cost for you to pick them). If math isn’t your thing.. You get 9 out of every 10 apples for FREE. The only catch is, God doesn’t want to wait til you used all the apples you wanted and then take whats left over.
God wants you to graciously and joyfully give him his mere 10% of the apples before you leave the orchard.
God wants our first fruits.
When you look at it that way, 10% really isn’t much. And the beauty? God doesn’t plop your money in His bank account- He gives it away to the places and people that need it most.
Pray with me?
Thank you God for entrusting me with any money at all. I know that this earthly wealth is temporary. Help me to not hoard it and find my worth through it. Remind me often of the heavenly treasures I am saving up for, with You. Help me to have a gracious and giving heart, that I can bless others abundantly. I know I do so in faith, but You will honor that. In your precious name, Amen.