When it comes to our generosity, we often make the mistake of believing that what we offer to God is a token of goodwill out of what we’ve earned and produced.
We begin to think that thoughts like,
I was smart enough to get this job…
I’ve run a great business…
I’ve put in the hours, the energy, the blood, sweat, and tears…
And out of all of my hard work, I’m giving God a portion of that as a gift to him.
Of course there isn’t anything wrong, and there’s very much right, with presenting gifts and offerings to God. The error is in skipping the acknowledgement that God is the source of our energy, of our ingenuity, of our creativity, of every opportunity we will ever have to earn anything in this world.
Paul put it this way,
Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
– 2 Corinthians 9:10-11 NIV
Notice, it is God who supplies the seed and the harvest. He gives us everything we need to get started, and he’s also the supplier of the part we bring back to him as a gift.
In other words, it isn’t simply that a tenth of what we earn belongs to God. It’s that all of what we earn belongs to him. 100% of everything I ever possess is his, and he deserves the honor and credit and glory for my ability to earn it.
When I bring a tithe or an offering to God, it’s not only an act of praise and worship, it’s also for my benefit, to teach me that I’m dependent on him.
So a better attitude about generosity would be,
I am nothing on my own – everything I have is from you, God…
You’ve given me the capacity to work and to earn…
And because you’ve supplied all the seed, I want to bring you part of the harvest.
It’s simply a matter of recognizing God as the source of everything I will ever enjoy in my life. I’m giving as an act of worship toward the God who is the ultimate Giver.
Does anything in your attitude about giving need to change?