One of the elements of our worship that blesses my heart each week is when the children bring their offering to the front. My prayer is that our young children are truly learning the joy of generous giving. In addition to being a blessing, sometimes a child’s effort to give their offering can be a bit comical. Such was the case on Easter morning with Jaxon Guy.
As I remember it, Jaxon’s mom first walked up the steps with him, and after helping him place his offering in the basket, they returned to their seats. Then Jaxon came forward a second time with more money, and after briefly pausing to think about what he was doing, he finally decided to drop his offering in the basket. Then after waiving to Grandma who was singing in the praise team, he went back to his seat. And then Jaxon came forward a third time with even more money for the offering, and after an even longer hesitation, he finally released his offering in the basket.
The three trips to the offering basket brought a smile to my face, but then my smile turned into laughter when Jaxon reached down into the basket and took back part of his offering, and then after waiving to Grandma again, he returned to his seat.
As I reflected on Jaxon’s offering experience, I thought about my own attitudes and behaviors when it comes to generous giving and living. Now, by no means am I suggesting that Jaxon was having a battle in his mind, but have you ever had a battle in your mind over whether or not to give an offering in the first place, but then to ease your conscience, you drop in some pocket change. And have you ever had it after giving your offering, you felt guilty because you know it could’ve been more. Or on the other hand, have you ever had it when you gave a very generous offering, but then after thinking about it, you wish you could take some back.
Likewise, I sometimes have the same battle of the mind when it comes to opportunities to serve. It’s those times when I know God has presented an opportunity to serve in some capacity, but because I’m selfish, I hold back from jumping all in. Or maybe I offer a token act of service, but know in my heart I could’ve given more. And then of course there are those times when I give all that I have to a cause, but then turn around and complain because I feel like I gave too much.
As I continued to reflect on Jaxon’s offering experience the Spirit reminded me of two truths; first from 2 Corinthians 9:6, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give whatever you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
And then a second truth from Romans 12:1, “Therefore I urge you brothers and sisters [Mike], in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice: holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship.”
May it not be so with you and me, that at the end of each day, we would ever regret giving and living full out for the joy of the King and his Kingdom. But rather, may we say like the Apostle Paul, “I consider my life worth nothing to me, my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord has given to me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace.”
Refusing to reach back into the offering basket,