I am (still) borrowing some vinyl records from my grandfather. He lent them to me a long time ago with no deadline for returning them. To be honest, I borrowed them so long ago that I only seldom remember that they are still his albums, not mine.
Have you ever borrowed something for so long that you forgot you had borrowed it in the first place? So long that you actually believed you owned whatever it was you’d borrowed?
Who has given Me anything that I need to pay back?
Everything under heaven is Mine.
The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it. The world and all its people belong to Him.
Everything belongs to God. Furthermore, “The world and all its people belong to Him.” (Emphasis added) Everything belongs to God, including me.
When it comes to the subject of giving, we must remember (1) who the owner is, and (2) who the borrower is. If we find ourselves wrestling with giving, it is important to remember who gave everything to us in the first place.
When I remember who owns the vinyl records, it changes the way I enjoy them, treat them, and use them. To stretch the illustration a bit further, remembering the owner should also remove any reluctance or resentment if my grandfather called me and asked for some or all of his records back. The analogy is nearing the end of its usefulness now, since my grandfather is unlikely to ever require me to return all or part of the albums, even though he owns them, but things are a bit different with God. Similar in principle, but different.
If I look at my finances, possessions, and time from the perspective that God owns them and I’m just a borrower, it changes the way I use them. Where the illustration began to break down, the reality is somewhat profound: God does call us to give, and I cannot begrudge Him for calling me to give a portion or all of what He already owns back to Him for His work and glory.
If I forget this, I may quickly become ungenerous and/or proud, half-heartedly giving “my time and money” to God while keeping score of how much He “owes me”, if I give at all.
On the other hand, if I remember this, giving to God becomes an act of thankfulness, generosity, and trust. When I give, I acknowledge God’s provision, goodness, and ownership.
Think About: In what part of my life (money, time, people, possessions, etc.) is it easiest for me to forget that everything belongs to God? What part is easiest to remember? What and/or how is God calling me to give back to Him?
Pray: God my Father, Thank you for all the things you let me “borrow.” Help me to remember that everything belongs to you, including me. Remind me when I forget, Father, and inspire me to give generously and joyfully, just as you have to me. In Jesus’ name, Amen