“Besides, in my devotion to the temple of my God I now give my personal treasures of gold and silver for the temple of my God…” 1 Ch 29:3
For some reason I am able to keep a small bank account and I don’t have to answer to anybody, including my wife, how I spend the money from it. I don’t usually spend it on myself, yet I still consider the funds in the account to be mine, and it will hurt if I have to part from them. Taking money from that account and giving it to the poor is out of the question since I deem the money mine, and mine only. Even though the amount in it is quite meager, it matters not since I consider it my possession and I reckon it unmovable.
There is a larger family bank account which is maintained by my wife, and I don’t usually care too much about how the money is spent. Since I don’t particularly consider it to be mine, I can let it go a little bit easier. By the same token, it might have been easier for David to exhaust all the national treasuries in preparation for the construction of the holy temple, but it was entirely different to part from his personal valuables. Therefore he made a point to mention that the gold and silver he donated were from his own coffers.
Whatever we deem ours, including our lives, may not be ours after all, for apart from God’s provision and sustaining, we would have absolutely nothing. If we look at our possessions from this point of view, giving will become much easier and more natural.
Out of my affection for my loved ones, I often use the money from my personal account to purchase gifts for them and don’t really feel the pinch of parting from my personal possession. I guess love does have the power to conquer our vices of selfishness and possessiveness. Is it because my love for the Lord isn’t as strong, therefore that I am reluctant to offer to him what I deem mine?
If we consider what we possess ours, our tithes and offering will be given out of a sense of duty, not out of our love and gratitude for God, and we may even feel that we are doing God a great favor by giving, as if he has any lack at all and whatever we give will make up his deficiencies.
Of course, offering to the Lord what we possess might be easier than offering to him our bodies as “living sacrifices.” Indeed, our possessions are merely a part of us, yet our bodies are our entire beings and we will have nothing left if we offer ourselves to him. Again, do we think our bodies are truly ours, by which we get to enjoy all things in this world? Paul once referred to our bodies as instruments with which we can either serve the Lord or the evil one.
The Lord’s demands to those who follow him seem to become greater and greater, and we end up with nothing left of our own. If this is the case, how is he going to replenish what we have lost? I guess we still don’t have any inkling what it really means to give if we still consider our offering to God in terms of investment and return.