Monday, November 14, 2011
10% ? R U Sure?
Right now, you are thinking about money. Right? As Christians and even non-Christians, we tend to be aware of this principle of giving God back at a rate of 10% of what we earn or are given in life. Our reaction to that is usually, “R U Sure?” That is an awful lot. I (we) could never keep up with our expenses if we gave back that much! Then we proceed to bring up dozens of excuses why that would never work in our case. (Not the least of which is that the idea of cutting our expenses is like planning surgery without anesthesia.) Obeying the principles and instructions of God does not even enter in.
The reality that we see about what our needs are and what financial support we need to meet our monthly, yearly and long term goals pretty much wipes out the question of simple obedience, and the consequences that follow that obedience. We simply don’t trust what God may do if we obey, so we dig in our heels and say “No.” And we say, “that was under the Law” and now we are not under the Law and we can make up our own principles about how to handle our money.
But some do give a least “some” of their income back to God. Some of that is regular and a set amount (short of 10%) and some of that is dependent on what we feel we can spare, week by week or month by month. God’s principle of 10% is just more than we can handle when it comes to simply obeying Him.
However, money is not the subject of this discourse. Money and possessions are not the only thing God has given us that He expects us to give back to Him. Keeping in mind that He owns everything and nothing is really ours, let’s consider the “least” we can do:
Besides things, He has also given us TIME. This morning I was struck by the fact that time is a very important possession. We are not privileged to know how much time we have to live. But we are privileged to know that as long as we live, we have time.
Then I began to wonder, “How many of us give God at least 10% of our time every day. Let’s see: Every day has 24 hours and 10% of that would be… That would be 2hrs and 24 minutes. WHOA!
Now, remember, I am just thinking this through here. Maybe I had too much coffee this morning and my brain is over active, even jittery. Maybe we should go to minutes in an hour… Oh, well, maybe that is better because that is only 6 minutes at a time. But, wait, we would have to do that 24 times in a day. Well, just a minute (pun intended), I have to work and I have to sleep. I can’t stop to spend time with God every single hour. (Actually, I don’t have to go to work, so I am just imagining that possibility.)
10%? R U sure? Yes. I am sure. It is ingrained in the Will and the Word of God that we give him at least 10% of our time and our money as a gift to Him. But He does this from the position of knowing that our time and our money are His anyway. He already owns it all. He just loans it to us to use to Glorify Him. So actually, what He wants us to do is to hand it all right back to Him to use however He wants… 100%
So, are we 100% surrendered, knowing that God is God and what we have or do not have is entirely up to Him? Or are we making dozens of excuses why that is just too much to give and then take our lives and our possessions and run off with them, hoping to control our presence on this earth our way while we are here? Hmmm…