Yours, O Lord, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O Lord, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things. Wealth and honor come from you alone, for you rule over everything. Power and might are in your hand, and at your discretion people are made great and given strength.
“O our God, we thank you and praise your glorious name! But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us! I Chronicles 29:11-14
Americans are a generous people. This has been demonstrated time and again, especially in times of crisis. We also know that the motivator for giving is having the right perspective on it. The heart is the key to giving, not the amount given. The state of our heart should naturally be that of willingness and desire to give. Giving to others is a way to please God, whom we love by loving others.
How can we get the state of mind- the desire and willingness to give? The key concept is stated in I Chronicles 29:14. This verse states the obvious, but sometimes the obvious needs to be stated to get us back to our “right mind”. The obvious truth is, everything we give has already been given to us by God. Whatever we have been given is really not ours- it has been given to us by the hand of God. Therefore, can we rightly hold on to that which is not ours to begin with?
We can get pretty hung up with “our money” that we work so hard to earn. We take ownership of the resources which God has equipped us with. Were it not for our health, others around us, and the very ideas that God has put into our heads, we would not own any of our stuff.
Didn’t God create us, put us in the places we now occupy, and give us the opportunities to actually earn our income? All that we have has been put into our hand by God. Whether those resources are big or small as measured by worldly standards of wealth, they belong to God.
I am not discounting the hard work that we have done to acquire the wealth that we enjoy. We do work hard for our living. Yet those fruits are not gained simply by our work or talent alone. The essential tools have first been given to us.
The “disconnect” comes when we claim for ourselves what we believe to be “ours”. The world and all that is in it belongs to God. When we start holding back on giving to God what is rightly his, we strain our relationship with him. It becomes an indicator of deteriorating spiritual health.
Decisions on how we give are personal ones, informed by our beliefs and attitudes. I am so thankful that we are surrounded by examples of generosity. This gives me hope in a very stressful time. Giving is a great indicator of our heart condition.
“Right giving” leads to “right living”, and “right living” leads to “right giving”.
Prayer: Father, the world is indeed yours, and you have given us the gift of living in it. We thank you for this gift, and we willingly give back to you as an indicator of our thanks, amen.