Growing up, my brother and I were allowed to pick one big item that we wanted for Christmas from our parents.
I’ll never forget the one year, ripping off the gift-wrap to find THE Barbie car that I had been dreaming of! Finally it was mine! Only it was in a box, and all compartmentalised. It had to be put together. (This was obviously Dad’s favourite part of Christmas morning– spending hours agonizing over instructions on a how to assemble a Barbie car).
The hardest part for me was giving the gift back to Dad to sort out, but I did it because I knew it had to be done so he could give me back something better. There is only so much a girl can do with a deconstructed Barbie car. I needed to give it back to the giver, so I could use the car for its intended purpose – to drive Ken and Barbie around!
One of the best parts about being a Christian is learning what it means to be a son and daughter of God – not an orphan or a slave, but his CHILD! A child trusts their Dad. I gave my Dad my gift because I fully trusted that as I gave it back, I would get something better.
The same concept goes with our money, time, and talents for that matter. Everything good is from God, and we must live open handed, giving it back to Him, trusting Him that He knows best. This is true stewardship. When I give my money to God, it is because I am His child, not His slave. I’m not trying to impress my master or persuade him to be good to me. Rather, as his child, I know He knows what is best, and He will return the gift in an even better package than it was given!
One of the Bible’s most extravagant pictures of giving back to God was the woman who poured an alabaster jar of perfume on the feet of Jesus. Religious onlookers thought this act of worship was too much. It was excessive and ridiculous. After all, this wasn’t just a 200 pound bottle of Tom Ford, this was worth more than a year’s wages. Furthermore, this would have been this woman’s only chance of getting married. This would have been her dowry one day. In pouring it on the feet of Jesus, she was literally letting go of her dreams and future. It was the ultimate sacrifice. She gave everything back. Jesus in return celebrates this complete sacrifice and addresses the religious for assuming she was foolish!
Jesus isn’t interested in behaviour modification, He wants heart transformation. He doesn’t want us to give back to Him because it gives us peace of mind that we are in His good books. We give because we trust Him as our Dad. We are overwhelmed by His goodness to us, so we in turn extravagantly give it back without hesitation.
A daily devotion for a better way of living.