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Do You Make This Mistake in Giving to God?

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

  1. It should be intentional
  2. 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,


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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Beverly A Lyons

    I was convicted sorely because of the truth that cut to the core of my heart!!! I repented before the Lord and moving on to do as the Word simply encourages me to do it intentionally with a cheerful heart!!! Im sure much has been hindered in my spiritual life because of this one important gesture of obedience and love. Thank you for posting this I missed before but His timing is impeccable!!! Blessings!!!

  2. Susan Gaddis

    So glad to hear that it helped, Beverly. One never knows how a blog post about giving is going to positively impact people or offend them. Hearing that the Holy Spirit used it in a positive in your life made my day! 🙂

  3. Moira

    EXCELLENT subject Susan!!!

    So many Christians miss out on this one, and so miss out on God’s blessings. I heard about tithing when I entered YWAM, and that’s when I started tithing & giving, and have kept it up faithfully.

    I say that because it’s part of my DNA now….even when I only had a dollar, I would tithe 10 cents. I believe with all my heart that God has honoured my faithfulness in this commitment, and why I am self sufficient and owe no man anything!!! ( I have some great personal stories on this subject!!!!)

    This is not a bragging session…..it’s a testimony to God’s faithfulness, in honouring His children when they pay attention to His Word…….”if YOU will, then I will……..”

    And I have proved to myself, that you CANNOT out give God….

    Again I say….what a deal!!!!

    Moi <3

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