Everything we have comes from God.1 Chronicles 29:14
We read from 1 Chronicles this past Sunday and talked about this phrase during the Gratitude Gathering breakfast. Since then, several people have approached me about their own response. Though each of the conversations is specific, people have shared two lines of thinking – “I never thought about God being the source of everything” or “I realize that I tend to take God’s generosity for granted.”
Our culture focuses on individual contributions, on our personal achievements, and on the work that we do. But it has less to say about our dependence on God’s gracious gifts for our capacity to do, well, literally anything. That has important implications for our personal generosity. If everything is mine because I worked for it, then I need to be convinced to share. But if God is the one who makes everything possible, if God gives me the ability to work at all, then my own giving is a response and a reflection of what God is doing in and for me. I am not independently giving up something of mine or losing a part of my assets; I am joining with God’s work and grace, which is then multiplied exponentially.
I am thankful that my parents taught my sister, brother, and I as children to give in recognition and response to all that we had been given. We learned to give a tenth of everything we received from our allowance, babysitting money, and paychecks from first jobs. We were challenged to never stop tithing and to never stop recognizing that everything we have comes from God. Because if everything belongs to God, the One who gives us everything, then we don’t have to worry that we aren’t enough or won’t be enough or have enough.
When anxiety about bills, finances or future challenges come, on our better days, may each of us remember the infinite generosity of God and find peace.