by Tim Keller, Lead Pastor
One day God confronted the most spiritual group of people in the world with a question; “Where is the respect I’m due?” He asked.
“Whoa!” they replied. “Where have we failed to show You the respect You deserve? We’re not seeing it.”
“I’ll tell you where.” God continued. “You have shown contempt for me in your offerings.”
“But God, we give more than anyone else around us! As a matter of fact, our lives are all about giving you offerings.”
“Oh really?” God replied, “Then why do you continually offer me only that which doesn’t matter to you? You give me the stuff that you aren’t attached to emotionally. You offer me things that are broken and flawed. If you didn’t give it to me, it would go right to the garbage can!”
The people didn’t have anything to say. God had nailed them right between their eyes. Others were not aware of what they were giving and even if they had, they would have been envied for the large amounts they placed before God.
God, on the other hand, was less than impressed. He knew that what was being given to Him was of such poor quality that no one else would have ever accepted the gift as being legitimate. He detected that what was being given was an expression, not of love and adoration, but of duty and obligation. The gifts were sick and in God’s opinion it would have been better for them not to have given at all.
Often when we think about our giving to God we contemplate only the amount that is being given. The larger the sacrifice the better the gift, right?
When God examines that which is put before Him, He doesn’t evaluate it that way (see Luke 21). He sees the quality of the gift which is purified and evaluated more by the faith involved than the price tag.
That’s why a $10,000.00 check to the church doesn’t hold the same weight as the $20.00 check given in the same offering if the $20.00 offering was given in faith and the $10,000.00 check was not. It’s a strange way of looking at things and it totally eliminates our being able to evaluate another person’s gift.
It does not eliminate God’s capacity for evaluating the gift. Some gifts God accepts and others He does not.
Is your offering being accepted by God?