There is so much anxiety in Christian circles when it comes to giving. This was never meant to be the case. God invites us to join in His work, not because He needs us, but because it is His very best for us. He wants us to be a part of what He is doing because what He is doing is awesome!
When my girls were little my wife would invite them to join her in making chocolate chip cookies. She didn’t need their help, and could have gotten to the final product much faster and cleaner without them, but she included them because she loved them and wanted them to be a part of what she was doing. The girls loved the chocolate chip cookies that much more when they helped in the baking.
God wants the same for us. He wants us to be a part of what He is doing. Our giving is one of many ways He invites us to join in. Our giving is a way to show our gratitude to God and to praise Him for his incredible generosity and mercy. How have we managed to make something meant to be so good for us something into more of a chore or hardship at best?
In his book, “Unlimited Grace” Bryan Chapell believes we get our identity and our actions mixed up. He writes, “We often confuse our “who” and our “do.” Who we are in loving relationship with God is not determined by what we do; rather, what we do is determined by who we are.”
We do not give in order to get into a loving relationship with God. We give because He has already brought us into a loving relationship with Him. We are already His kids, and we give because we can’t help but respond in praise and thanksgiving when the Gospel grabs our hearts.
Now I am the first to admit that sometimes my heart feels distant from God. I “know” what He has done for me, but my heart seems to retreat into a season of winter. God has rescued me from this state in many creative ways. One way has been His reminder to give.
When I accept His invitation and let go of my money I am reminded of what He has done for me. I am reminded how thankful I am that He called me to be His kid and that He paid a huge price to include me in the Kingdom. My giving turns to thanks and praise, and my thanks and praise melts my heart from the deep freeze. Once again something I looked to be a chore turns into a blessing. God is good, all the time.