If you present a peace offering to the Lord from the herd or the flock, whether it is to fulfill a vow or is a voluntary offering, you must offer a perfect animal. It may have no defect of any kind. You must not offer an animal that is blind, crippled, or injured, or that has a wart, a skin sore, or scabs. Such animals must never be offered on the altar as special gifts to the Lord. (Leviticus 22:21-22)
Relate: I have two couches in my living room. One is a half step away from going to the dumpster. It was already old and “well used” when I acquired it. It is most definitely older and more used now. One of the cushions doesn’t seem to be able to sit as high as the other two. Whenever company comes over they always seem to sit at the other couch and I have that one all to myself.
When it comes to my clothes, I play favorites. I like my Besiktas jacket, and my Syracuse and Oswego sweatshirts. My plain grey sweatshirt and my normal black windbreaker… I could take them or lose them. They are cheaper, they don’t mean much to me, and they are a bit more worn down as well.
I’ve got a pair of Nike sneakers that have done me quite well and are incredibly comfortable. I also have a pair of boots that have recently achieved sainthood. It is true. I just noticed this week that those boots have become holy. As with some true so-called saints, that means they are so heavenly minded that they are no longer any earthly good. It is only a matter of time… short time, before they are replaced.
If I were to find out someone I know needs shoes and I “give” them my holy boots, I am not really giving them anything. I am throwing away my boots and they are my trash receptacle. If I were to really give, they would receive my Nikes (or better yet, I would go with them to footlocker and buy something truly new). If I were to offer them some clothes and gave them my grey hoodie… again, I am not giving. I am just assuaging my conscience and doing a “good deed” that is not in any way truly good. I should be giving them that Besiktas jacket instead. If I were to hear a friend was moving and needed some furniture in the new place and I were to “offer” him my old red couch… all I am really offering him is the opportunity to rid myself of an uncomfortable eyesore.
Yes, giving these things to your local Salvation Army or clothing exchange is better than throwing them away… but all we are really doing is recycling our trash rather than dumping it in the bin. Please, lets not deceive ourselves into believing we have done our good deed for the day.
React: Do I do the same thing with God? The church calls for a work day and since I am bored and have nothing better to do, I’ll swing by for an hour or two to socialize, eat their food, and maybe even pitch in a little here and there. I’ll tithe this week because none of my bills are due and I have the cash to spare, but on that first Sunday of the month… not a chance. We give God our leftovers, we offer up little and only then the easily replaceable. We consider ourselves followers of Christ but those crosses we never even consider carrying. How dare we?
I am so sorry that all too often all I have offered up to You is my leftovers. I do what I want, when I want with my life and then offer up to You whatever happens to be left over. Please, do not give me the just reward for this audacity. Have mercy. Let my love for You and for Your children become so great that I cannot help but offer up my very best at every opportunity. Give me an abundantly generous heart.