By: Mike Whitney [Candlewood Pastor]
I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing. 2 Samuel 24:24 (ESV)
One day, in an attempt to help my two young sons grasp the concept of tithing, I jokingly started what I called a “Daddy Tax.” They lived in a very simple tax bracket: I would make a sandwich and take a bite of it before I handed it to them. This tax was placed on all candy, chips, and carrots that they ate. As the month went on, my son’s hearts started to resent this “Daddy Tax.” The parallel between tithing to a heavenly father and a hungry, earthly father began to break down, so I scrapped the tax.
Last April, in Phase One of our church’s Building Together Campaign, God grew my understanding from an overly simplistic view of giving to God that I’ve had for almost two decades. God struck me with one main thought: My sacrifice defines my walk.
Chip Ingram wrote in his book The Genius of Generosity, “God measures generosity not by the size of the gift but by the size of the sacrifice.” David showed that he grasped this concept when he stated his conviction above. God commanded him to build an altar to stop a plague, but David understood that our sacrifice to God is extremely important. 1 Chronicles 21:25 says that David paid 600 shekels, or 12 pounds of gold, for this piece of property. Currently, 12 pounds of gold is running at $234,372. In obeying God, David named his own price; he decided to pay just under a quarter million for it. David understood sacrifice.
Sacrifice is an essential part of worship and service to God—so are our motives. Yes, God wants us to be cheerful givers, but I believe God also wants us to be on a journey of sacrificial giving.