Who hasn’t day-dreamed some time in their life about what they would do if they won the lottery? One of the things people usually mention is how much they would give away. They would pay off the debts of their relatives and friends, buy everyone new houses and cars, contribute a new wing to the church building program etc., etc.
Sure, why not? It’s no skin off their nose, it cost them nothing. It’s easy to give away what you paid nothing for, what you have not sacrificed to get. King David knew better. He desired to buy a threshing floor from a man named Araunah in order to create an alter for offering sacrifice. He was seeking the Lord to withdraw a plague from the land of Israel.
Araunah pressed David to accept the threshing floor as a gift and to use it freely. “Then the king said to Araunah, ‘No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God with that which costs me nothing'” (2 Samuel 24:24).
A little lady in the New Testament understood too. Jesus commended the poor widow who put only two mites into the Temple offering as he and his disciples looked on. He said of her; “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood” (Mark 12:43-44).
As we consider giving, it is worth considering giving not out of our abundance, but out of that which we have paid a price. If it didn’t cost us anything, what is it really worth anyhow?
Here’s the audio version