My Offering Can’t Make a Difference

My Offering Can’t Make a Difference

And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the LORD’S contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments. Exodus 35:21

At the self-checkout line at the grocery store last night, as I paid with my credit card, the kiosk asked me if I wanted to add to my bill, donating to some charity. I did not want to do that. Groceries are expensive enough. I have no idea what that charity is or if the store even forwards the donation to them. Maybe it’s all a scam. Anyway, I had zero interest in giving away my hard-earned money. If that charity actually does good work, then others will give and whether I give or not simply won’t make any difference.

It’s unfortunately easy to take a similar approach when it comes to giving to God. Does church really need my money? It seems like they’re doing alright. If God is God, then he shouldn’t run short of cash, needing mine. In the grand scheme, it doesn’t matter if I give. Others will donate and my miniscule contribution can’t matter much. Plus, I need my money. I work hard for it.

Today’s passage sheds some light on the importance of giving to God though. In it, Moses asked his people to donate for the building the Tabernacle, their place of worship. Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring the LORD’S contribution (Exodus 35:5). Then, everyone who felt compelled to be obedient, gave something. It’s true that if just one person in the congregation refused to give, it probably wouldn’t have made much of a difference in the overall project. The tabernacle would have been built with or without that individual’s gift. The difference to that individual though, whether he (or she) was obedient, would have been profound to him. God called his people to give and whoever refused, would have chosen disobedience, thereby distancing themselves from God’s will.

We have our own plans for our money and our lives. God often has other plans. When we’re obedient and give to God’s work – to church, missions, or charities – we align ourselves with God’s will. When we refuse to give, keeping our money for ourselves, we choose selfishness and disobedience. Our individual giving may not affect the big picture that much, but it profoundly affects our personal spiritual health. It may cost us financially to give, but it costs us far more spiritually when we refuse. Our lack of giving may not stop God’s grand will for the world, but, in our selfishness and disobedience, we may miss out on his blessing and will for our lives.

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