When our son turned two, my wife and I began teaching him to do some tasks independently.
He takes his trash to the garbage can and puts away his books. On Sundays, when the congregation brings their offering to the front and puts it in the basket, I hand him money, and he gleefully runs up and puts it in.
His grandma attends church with us and has a ready supply of treats. One day, he finished his fruit snacks, promptly walked to the front of the auditorium, and dropped his wrapper in the offering basket.
My son might not know the difference between a trash can and an offering basket, but in some ways, he understands letting go better than I do. He saw something he didn’t need anymore and was happy to hand it to God. He didn’t worry about whether he’d need that empty wrapper later any more than a sparrow worries about the future or a lily worries about tomorrow’s outfit. Our son didn’t focus on who watched or what they thought, as I did. And once he threw the wrapper in, it was gone from his mind—no regrets.
As for me, I’m not so quick to hand things over to God. I decided to give up social media for a time. I initially looked at it more as a big sacrifice I was undertaking to impress God. But after I eliminated it, I realized how much it had grown into an addiction and a crutch. Giving it up wasn’t presenting God with a pure, unadulterated sacrifice. I was throwing my trash in the offering.
When we feel weighed down, stressed out, or overburdened, we can stop and look at what’s in our hands and hearts. Is it something we need to carry around, or does it belong in God’s hands? And if you see an exasperated father fishing around suspiciously in the offering plate at your next church service, please extend him some grace. You never know what someone else is going through.
What are some ways you can give to God?
(photo courtesy of author.)
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