Understanding how I got what I have changes everything about generosity

But who am I, and who are my people, That we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, And of Your own we have given You.

— 1 Chronicles 29:14

The particulars of this verse have to do with the Israelites bringing their offerings to build Solomon’s temple.

The principle is a reminder regarding any generosity and giving we might engage in.  There is no room for boasting about giving when we remember that we have nothing but what the Lord has given us in the first place.

This is true whether we are giving our tithes and offerings as an act of worship in the church, or to support other ministries, or giving gifts to family and friends, or to a homeless person on the street.  Nothing we can possibly give, was not first given to us—by the Lord God.

Someone says, “Nothing was given to me. I earned it!”  Really?  Who gave you the mind, or the strength, or the opportunity to earn what you have worked for?  Was that not also given to you by the Lord?

This is not to belittle the fact that some work harder than others for what they have.  This does not negate the fact that some are far more giving of what they have than others.  But when all we have or give is ours first by the grace of God, does that not shed a new ray of light on our giving?  Let us be reminded that we are responsible to work to have something to give (Ephesians 4:28); that we are to give generously (2 Corinthians 9:6-7); and ultimately, that the glory for our giving belongs to the Lord Himself.  After all, He has supplied all we might ever give—from the opportunity to earn, to the wealth to share, to the heart to give.

Lord, thank You for giving to me enough that I might also give.  And transform my heart to be more giving, especially in light of how much You give (John 3:16).