I love having a yummy dinner out with my husband, Tom. Of course, he always leaves a generous tip for the waitress.
You probably do the same thing… tip the waiter whenever you eat out or receive some exceptional service from someone. That’s what good people do, right?
But I’ve found that this practice doesn’t always go as expected.
Not with waitresses in Finland, and not with God.
For example, visiting our son in Finland this summer taught us that Finns don’t tip. Learning that information didn’t matter—my husband, Tom, tipped anyway.
I got used to the baffled looks we received from waitresses wondering what they were suppose to do with the money we’d left on the table.
I’m sure they figured it out, and appreciated the extra cash.
But I don’t think tipping goes over well with God.
You’ve probably seen it—people giving to God. Yet you know something is lacking. Maybe you’ve even done it yourself. I know I have.
The offering basket comes around at a Sunday church service, and we dig in our purse or wallet and then put whatever money we find into the offering basket.
That’s not “giving to God.” That’s “leaving God a tip.”
And I’m sure He looks rather perplexed when we do so.
Because it’s not about the money… be it a lot or a little.
It’s about our attitude.
Giving to God holds at least two conditions
- It should be intentional
- It should cost us more than our extra nickels, dimes, and dollars.
In God’s kingdom we give—purposefully and at personal cost.
Whether it’s in an offering basket, a check to a missionary, or a Christmas package to the homeless, we are to approach it intentionally and with an “ouch” to our personal budget.
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV italics mine).
I’m not going to offer God, my God, sacrifices that are no sacrifice (2 Samuel 24:24 italics mine).
So… deep breath… ask yourself these questions
- Do I give intentionally?
- Is my sacrifice a real sacrifice?
- Do I just give God a tip and think I’ve honored Him like I should?
Don’t worry. I won’t tell anyone how you answered those questions. But I will encourage you to start doing more than just leaving God a tip when the offering plate comes around.
Because how you handle your money is important to your legacy of faith. Your attitude towards money tells people if the money you have is your money or God’s. Big difference.
People notice, especially little people, and so does the Lord.
It’s the season for giving. Let’s do it right.
Catch you later,