Some friends were at my house the other day. I asked them if they’d like some lemonade, and they said they would. When I opened the fridge, I saw there wasn’t going to be any lemonade left if I poured each of us a big glass. For a moment, my hands reached for three small glasses in the cabinet. Then it hit me. These are my friends. I grabbed three big glasses, and poured each of us a large glass of lemonade. I was going to give less than the most. And sure it was just lemonade, but how is that mirror to my life? When I handed them the big glasses, I felt a joy inside for giving them more instead of less.
We always have the option to give people the small glass. But I want to hand my friends a great refreshing glass of real friendship every time we are together. I want to surprise them with the best. So what is it about giving a glass of lemonade that resonates with our hearts?
I believe it really has everything to do with who we want to be. In life, you’re either giving or taking. We’re living selflessly or selfishly. When we give less to others than our best, we are changed on the inside by this kind of giving. Giving our best though changes something within us. Something as small as glass of lemonade when given with love does something inside of our hearts. In time, giving out of love transforms us. I think that is why Jesus wants us to give. Not because we have to give someone the large glass of lemonade, but because we want to.
I admire the heart of King David after he had sinned against the Lord in 2 Samuel 24. David knew what he had done was wrong, and he cried out and told God that he would rather be punished than his nation face the Lord’s judgment. When the Lord acted mercifully towards David, he wanted to respond to God by offering thanks to him. David went to buy a threshing floor belonging to a man named, Araunah, to offer the Lord a burnt offering. When Araunah met David, he responded to him in this way.
22 Araunah said to David, “Let my lord the king take whatever he wishes and offer it up. Here are oxen for the burnt offering, and here are threshing sledges and ox yokes for the wood.23 Your Majesty, Araunah gives all this to the king.” Araunah also said to him, “May theLord your God accept you.”
24 But the king replied to Araunah, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
David knew the importance of giving something that costs you something. David had the opportunity to make a sacrifice that would almost be free. Instead, David insisted that he buy the threshing floor. His reason was this.
“I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.”
As David chose to sacrifice something costly, he was being transformed more into the Lord’s image. Giving sacrificially from a God-pleasing desire unlocks a new relationship with others.
What do you have to give someone today? Your attention? Your time? A hand written note? What size of glass will you give to others today?