“Honor the Lord with your possession, and with the firstfruits of all your increase; so your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will overflow with new wine.” – Proverbs 3:9-10
Ever let someone else take the first bite off a piece of your pie?
I don’t understand it but a psychological thrill ride occurs when I slide a fork through the tip of a triangular shaped slice of pie. It’s as though I’m embarking on a slow, taste sensation journey, the first step of which is to destroy the perfectly symmetrical geometric figure.
When someone else takes the first bite, the whole pie eating experience is diminished. The rest of the piece doesn’t taste quite the same. When I’m polite enough to let this happen, I’m totally bored eating the rest of it. It’s as though my mind is saying, “Eh…it’s just pie.”
A part of me is happy for the person I gave that first bite to. I know they appreciate it. The look of pleasure on their face as the piece dissolves in their mouth gives that away.
Deep down, I’m envious and selfish. It was my pie after all. Shouldn’t I enjoy the pleasures of the first bite?
That’s right…it’s all about my needs.
How can I stop thinking like that?
By developing a plan to give as I go through life, starting with giving to God of my increase as the verse above instructs.
Yes, it would be great to have the whole pie to myself. I could satisfy many desires with it. However, I’d miss the joy of giving and seeing others experience pleasure based on my generosity.
The Potential Benefits of Giving
And who knows? What if as I give more and more, I develop a spirit of thankfulness for what has been left over? After all, the rest of the pie is still pretty good and does help satisfy my hunger pains. Receiving 90% of the pie would still be very useful to meet my daily needs.
Furthermore, who can tell the benefits that might come back to me for being generous to someone else?
What if someone along the way to whom I give bakes me another whole pie? I would be getting back more than I gave out.
Perhaps I see how God is using my generosity and that brings some inner peace and humility.
And the more peace and blessings I receive, the more likely my giving will increase over time.
So sacrificing that first bite of pie isn’t so bad after all. That’s what the Maker of the pie desires.
Do you give off the top, from the first of your monthly increase or do you wait until the end of the month and give what is left over? How do we keep our selfish attitude in check? What blessings have you received by giving to others before thinking about yourself?
Reprinted with permission.
About the author: Brian Fourman is a personal finance writer. He helps individuals and families navigate the challenges of managing their money so that they can grow wealth and live with greater peace of mind. In his down time, he loves hanging out with his four kids and hearing his wife talk about all the cool things CPAs do at work. You can check him out providing encouragement and inspiration on his blog at Luke1428.com or by connecting with him on Facebook.