Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, [so let him give]; not
grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7).
There is a wonderful little story God once gave to me. I like to share it
from time to time, hoping it will mean as much to others as it has to me. It goes
something like this:
There was a man who had two young sons whom he loved very much. His sons loved him in
return and were proud to have him as their father. One day the father brought home a large
bag filled with construction paper, glue, markers and such. The boys watched with
anticipation as their father emptied the contents of the bag onto the floor, and began to
divide what he had into two equal piles. He then told the boys to take the things that he
had given them. Each son gratefully took what was given him and went to his own place.
One son, looking at what he had and being moved by his father's loving gesture, took what
he had and thoughtfully divided it into ten equal piles. He then took the first pile and
went in to his father. "Daddy," he said, "thanks for what you gave me, I
really like it." He continued, "Here." As he gave a portion back to his
father, "this is for you," he said. His father was very pleased, and smiled
warmly at his son. "I love you daddy," the boy said. "I love you too,"
his father replied. Then the boy went on his way to cut and paste and create something
nice for himself out of the nine piles that remained.
The second son took what he had been given and began to cut and paste, draw and color to
create his own little masterpiece. He worked long and hard and when he was finished, he
took what he had made and went in to his father. "Daddy," the boy said,
"this is for you." He then gave his father a big hug and told him that he loved
him, and quickly darted back off to his room. The father smiled as he looked at his son,
for He loved them both dearly.
When God gave me this story it had a message attached. Both sons pleased the father, but
one did a more excellent thing. The first son saw what he had and returned a tenth of it
to God, just as he had received it. Yet the second son took all his father had given, made
something wonderful out of it and then gave it back to his father.
We are given a lot throughout our lives (which we can easily see when our eyes stop
searching for what we still want). Jesus tells us, "For unto whomsoever much is
given, of him shall be much required (Lk.12:48).
I think it a noble thing that God's children dutifully give a tenth of their income to the
church. I think it a sad thing when that is where our giving stops. But I think it is a
more wonderful thing that a child of God would take what God gives, make something
wonderful of it, and then give it all back to Him in sacrificial love, worship and praise.
Just so I am not misunderstood--I do not refer to money alone. Money is not the sum total
of who we are. We have much more God has given us, and much more to gain. God has given us
a life that will have as many years on this earth as He allows. Our greatest love offering
to Him would be to take that life, make something wonderful out of it (designed especially
for Him), and give it back.
For all [they] did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did
cast in all that she had, [even] all her living (Mark 12:44).