Without a Grudging Heart
Thursday - November 4th
Scripture to Read Today: Deuteronomy 15:7-11
Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart;
then because of this the Lord your God will bless you
in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.
When I was a young boy, we had a little white tabletop church-shaped bank in our Sunday School class. It was where we, as children, put our weekly offering each week. First, our parents would hand us a coin or two before they left us with the teachers. Then, the teachers celebrated us as our little fingers fumbled to put the clunky change in the little church bank.
If you watch preschool kids as they give to the offering in their Sunday School class, you will notice two kinds of kids. Some give free from any awareness of the value of the coins they drop in the offering. They plop them in without any second thought whatsoever. Other kids hold on tightly as they rethink giving up what they rarely hold.
While we might emphasize the apparent disparity of the two ways kids give to an offering, as adults, we often wrestle with freely giving up something of value too. We may donate to the offering at church, but we may do it with bitterness because we feel like we should or ought to do it. God wants us to be cheerful givers to the needs of others and the advancement of His Kingdom.
As the Israelites received the laws and regulations God established for their nation, He wanted them to obey out of love and gratitude. He commanded them to give without a grudging heart. He wants us to reflect His heart of grace and generosity. If your heart is wrapped around earthly stuff, that is not always easy. When you focus on the value of what you give too much, you can be like the preschooler who begrudgingly releases the coin.
It's okay to struggle with giving; after all, we grow in our honest struggle of surrendering our wants to God's will. God knows our struggles, and our steps of growth. But ultimately, as Deuteronomy 15:10 clearly says, it's crucial we give without a grudging heart.
As God's children, we should give with an understanding of the cost. But, give freely and joyfully!