Well, I think it is common knowledge that people tend to like having things. We all like to own stuff and dislike parting with our belongings and money, but is this ok? Well, it can be, as we do need to be faithful stewards of the resources God has given us, but the other side of that is that we are simply stewards. We cannot expect to keep God’s things, and when He does lay it on our hearts to give, we absolutely must give that which we are asked to give. This could be money, items in our possession, or even just our time and energy. Our very lives are a gift from God, and the fact that He asks for us to give back, rather than demands for us to, leaves me inspired and amazed beyond comprehension.
How selfish must you be to withhold a small portion of your gifts or talents from the very person who provided you with every last one of them? If we are truly serving God, and desire to do so, then our actions should and will reflect that.
Luke 12:34 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (NIV)
This means that whatever matters the most to you in life will be made evident by your choices in spending, and in time and other resources as well. Think about it. What is most important to you? Is it music? How much money do you spend on music? Perhaps electronics and or gaming? Your phone? You know that thing you spend all your time and money on. It may be one of these things, and it may be none of them. God has blessed us with the choice to buy that which we please, as he has given the choice in all matters. We are our own individuals. We make all our own decisions. So how many of us choose God?
A lot of adults pay tithes and stuff, but how many young people do you know who regularly pay tithes on the money that they earn? I know of few, if any. And, something I am quite honestly a bit behind on, how often do we give above and beyond our tithing? Thankfully, especially for us young people, tithing is not our only option. We can also give our time, energy, and other talents in many ways. We can serve on mission trips, lead in our church, and do lots of other things to show God’s love for people around us.
We as a social group don’t often have much money, at least in comparison to our adult counterparts, but we do have a lot more time on our hands. How well known are you at your church? If people do know you, are you just known as that teen who comes on Sunday and sits in the back row? I want to be someone who is known in my church as someone who is devoted and willing to serve. I want to give both myself and my resources to further the reach of the gospel at any time I can. This does not have to be serving in public or where people can see you. In fact, some of the best opportunities are made available once everyone leaves.
Humility is vital in giving or serving, because if you are full of pride and trying to give God glory, you will fail. Think about it, many people give simply to attain recognition and praise, but that is not what God wants from us. We are to give whatever he lays on our hearts to give but we should not yell for everyone to watch us as we put the money in the offering bag.
Ananias and Sapphira were prime examples of this. (Acts 5:1-11) They gave for the wrong reasons and they were punished because of it. Think about the last time the offering bag was passed your way and you put money in it. Which bank note was wrapped around the outside? I live in South Africa where our different notes are different colors, and most of the time people love putting those crisp bright blue hundred rand bills around the outside because they look good as they pay their churchly dues. However, I challenge you, give your tithes and then some all the while wrapping the entire offering in the ghastly green of the ten rand note.
Give without reserve and give without pride.