“No mommy, it’s MY cheese chip,” my youngest daughter exclaimed possessively as I went to dip my tortilla chip in the bowl we were sharing together at our weekly Monday lunch at a local Mexican restaurant. I looked at her in surprise as she grabbed the dish and pulled it to her side of the table with a determined look of resentment on her little face. “Goodness” I chuckled, thinking to myself that this was certainly paradoxical, because it was NOT actually her cheese dip. I was the one who ordered it and gave it to her, and I would pay for it with my own money. You see, my little 5-year-old munchkin viewed cheese dip as a precious commodity, and in this moment, she had a completely skewed understanding of where it came from.
What struck me later, as I was thinking about how to address the heart condition behind her outburst, was a keen sense of how easy it is for me to have the very same attitude towards my Heavenly Father. While I may not have an observable anger flare-up over cheese dip at a restaurant, I might struggle with generously and obediently sharing those resources that I view as precious. I might be thinking, “But God, I already gave 10% of my income away this year, how much more are you going to ask of me?” Or, “God, I already volunteer so much of my time and energy for good causes, are you really going to ask me to serve this pestering and overly-needy individual?”
When I find myself having a hard time trusting God with ALL of my resources and walking in obedience to the Spirit’s prompting, it’s often because my view of ownership is off kilter. You see, God created our world. He gave us our time, our energy, our ability to work, and all of our material possessions. He is the source of everything we have. He owns it all, and He has generously shared those resources with us. When I can re-orient my perspective in line with this truth, it changes everything. I can be generous because He is my source, and He is generous. I can be obedient because I know that I can trust Him to refresh every resource I use in His service. May I allow His Word to correct my perspective about giving:
The heavens are yours, and the earth is yours; everything in the world is yours—you created it all.
Think About: How could viewing your finances through the perspective that God owns it all affect your giving? Do you fully trust that God has unlimited resources at his disposal? Would you be willing to trust Him to refresh you in every way that you give?
Pray: Father God, I confess that many times I’ve had a distorted perspective of ownership. I’ve been stingy and greedy because I’ve not realized how generous you truly are. Enable me to give from your unending resources, rather than viewing it through my limited fleshly perspective.