Bring the finest of the firstfruits of your produce to the house of your God. Exodus 34:26 (TM)
This past week I went with my daughter, Taylor, to the bank. She just graduated from high school and the bank wanted to "upgrade" her account to a college account complete with the privileges and responsibilities of having her first real credit line. Our banker, Missy, gave Taylor both a great encouragement and warning about handling credit and her credit rating. The appointment turned into a coffee date for me and Taylor as we continued to talk about money. Taylor, facing the reality of life on her own, had a ton of great questions about finances.
I have many lessons to share about finances. Not because I’ve done it well, but because my checkbook is scarred with so many poor decisions. One of the financial and spiritual principles I wished I’d applied earlier in life is the concept of giving back to God from the best first fruits of your income. There’s nothing magical about it. I don’t believe, like some televangelists preach, that giving will result in some financial heavenly pay-off – though God’s Message is clear that He blesses those who prove themselves faithful with what they’ve been given.
The reality is that giving back to God some of the best first-fruits of your income is a slow, character producing practice. You remind yourself, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly that:
- God deserves my best – not just the left-overs (after I’ve satisfied my selfishness)
- Everything I have and everything I receive ultimately comes from God
- Everything I have belongs to God – not to me
- I actually earn more money than I really need
- I can be content and live on less than I earn