by Choe Swee See

“…while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5.8);
“Freely you have received, freely give” (Matt 10.8);
“For by grace you have been saved through faith…” (Eph 2.4-9).

I first caught the giving heart of Father God in the way my earthly father gave. People usually receive presents for their birthdays. Not my earthly father – at every birthday he gave away gifts to all of us including his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

My sisters followed in my dad’s example and generously gave, and the giving was not just confined to monetary gifts but also time, advice, counsel, encouragement, affirmation and affection, including hope… even until now. My dad’s last words to us in the hospital were “Continue to take care of each other”, and we knew that he meant what the scriptures say in 1 John 3.17 and James 2.15 about seeing a brother’s needs and meeting them.

Beyond this, the gem that I caught from the Lord on the liberating truth of giving was from this Scripture:- The earth is the Lord’s, and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein (Psalm 24.1).

Many of us would give 10% (or more) of our income (and/or first fruits) as our tithe. Yet if all of the earth belongs to the Lord, we are therefore not only His stewards over the other 90% of our income or first fruits, we are stewards of 100% over every area, aspect, possession in and of our lives; time, bodies, resources, skills, abilities, talents, dreams and of course our finances, career, vocation and business and even inheritance. Basically our mental, intellectual, physical, emotional and social capacities and faculties; as well as the spiritual aspect comes from the Lord.

When I struggled to make a decision whether to undertake my music album project, the Lord rebuked me clearly, saying “By the way, not only do you not own your money, the music is not yours either, I gave you everything.” This is the liberating truth- that when we give 100% of every aspect of our lives to the Lord, acknowledging His right over it, He reigns in our lives and when that happens, we’ll walk in the fullness of God.

Let me close with something for you to ponder:
When money is not a problem in our lives, the decision on how to use it should not be ours alone to make as we please, but that we should consult the Lord for His views, blessing and/or decision; even after we have tithed faithfully.