There are some things in life I just get backwards. I sometimes doubt honest people. Worse, I sometimes trust dishonest people. Things like lettuce and broccoli and bran are good for you, while pizza and donuts and chocolate chip cookie dough ice cream are bad for you. That’s so totally backwards.
I used to think that I had some abilities, and I could use those in a job, and make money, spend it however I wanted, and own some stuff. I thought all that stuff was mine, and it was up to me to decide if I wanted to give any to God. Then, in one year, I got laid off my job, lost my home and most of my money in a divorce, and I realized none of that stuff was ever mine – not really. I had it exactly backwards. It all belonged to God – that and a lot more – and it was He who had decided to give just a little of it to me.
Eventually I got a new job, and began tithing 10% from the very first check. It was easy. I used to have no money, and now I had some – it was obvious God had provided. So it didn’t matter if I had $100, or $1000. I didn’t cling to it tightly in fear, I spent it right back to Him. Then I got daring, giving more than 10%, just to see what happened. I spent money for the poor, sponsored a child, gave anonymous money to friends for mission trips, and left bigger tips. It’s a wonderful feeling not to be enslaved by worry about money. And no matter how much I “spent” on God, I always had enough for my needs. God’s funny with math that way.
If you have any abilities, or talents or “smarts,” it’s because God created you and gifted you with them uniquely. He’s given you those and other resources, not to keep for yourself, but to manage on His behalf. It’s about understanding that all of it is God’s to begin with, and that we must be wise investors with whatever He gives us. And when you invest in what God is doing, you join a wild, completely backwards adventure that pays crazy, impossible dividends of miracles and healing and lives changed forever. Who wouldn’t want to be part of that?