What Kind of Giving Is Worship?
by Rick Warren
“Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income” (Proverbs 3:9a TLB).
When I was a little kid I used to buy or make all these little cheesy gifts for my parents. When I look back on them, they were really lame. But every time I would give my parents a present, they were overjoyed. It wasn’t like they needed anything from me, because they didn’t. They just enjoyed the fact that I thought of them.
One time when I was 8 years old, I went into a thrift store and bought my mother a dress for 25 cents. I thought it was a really cool dress. It was about a size four, and my mom was a size 12. The clerk said, “Ricky, your mom couldn’t get her big toe in that dress.” I was so offended and went home crying. When I gave the dress to my mom, she was so thrilled. When she died, I found that dress in one of her chests. She’d kept it all those years.
There’s nothing you can give God that he needs. But when you give him an offering, you’re saying, “God, I love you. I’m thinking of you. I want you first in my life.”
The Bible says, “Honor the Lord by giving him the first part of all your income” (Proverbs 3:9a TLB). That’s called tithing. Tithing actually means 10 percent, and it’s the first part of your income.
Tithing doesn’t just honor God. It is also an act of worship. But the Bible says that not every kind of giving is an act of worship. So what kind of giving is worship?
“On every Lord’s Day each of you should put aside something from what you have earned during the week, and use it for this offering. The amount depends on how much the Lord has helped you earn” (1 Corinthians 16:2a).
Worship giving is undesignated. That means you don’t control it, you don’t direct it, you don’t tell God what to do with it.
Worship giving is given when and where you worship. You give the first part of your money on the first day of the week and say, “God, you’re first in my life.”
Worship giving is planned. You don’t just give spontaneously. You think it through.
Worship giving is proportional. If you didn’t earn anything this week, you don’t give anything. You earn a little, you give a little. You earn a lot, you give a lot.
God wants your heart more than anything else. He doesn’t want your money. He wants what it represents. The most sensitive nerve in the body is the one that goes from the heart to the wallet.
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Talk It Over
What kind of attitude do you think God wants you to have when you give?
How does your current attitude compare to that?