Don't Give Too Much!
John Gipson once related the following excellent thoughts in a bulletin article. He began by stating that he had made a convert the prior Sunday morning--a little boy by the name of Luke. Luke told his mother he didn't want to put change in the collection plate anymore. He wanted a bill. His mother, Jeanie, opened her billfold which contained a one-dollar bill and a five. Luke took the five and put it in the plate. Jeanie confessed that tears came to her eyes. She asked, "How do you tell a child that he is giving too much to the Lord?"

That is a good question; isn't it? Children don't do all of the calculations that adults do. If they are touched, they will gladly give away everything they have. They not only will give you the money; they'll even throw in the piggy! What simplicity! What beauty! Children have been known to give away their favorite doll or even their bicycle.

As adults, we prefer to sit down and make calculations. With a sharp pencil, or calculator, we take note of percentages. We figure not only what we are giving, but how much we are going to keep and spend. Rarely is our giving a spontaneous thing. It's calculated, precise, and generally respectable, but not necessarily generous. I dare say that most adults give more out of duty than desire.

Christians can read of the widow who contributed her two mites in Luke 21--all the livelihood that she had--but can we really relate? Do we even have a clue as to the depth of this type of sacrifice? We can admire the broken alabaster flask--the container for the costly spikenard that was used to anoint Jesus' head--but do we fathom the love of that woman in Mark 14 who offered such a gift? Many disciples have never felt that kind of love for the One they call their Savior; how tragic!

It is futile to attempt to fit such acts of giving into percentages. The giving of these two women was meaningful; it was significant; it was emotional. These women gave generously from the heart! Is such present within your spirit as you give back to the One to whom you owe everything?

Friends, consider your giving: Are you like little Luke--desiring to give more to the Lord? Or, are you like his mother Jeanie--a giver who isn't very joyful or generous? May the thought never enter our minds that we could give too much to the One who gave everything for us! It is impossible to give too much to the Lord; that is true whether one is giving money, sweat, or even his life.

Let us close with some thoughts from the apostle Paul - "But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver" (II Cor. 9:6,7).