What is your best? In many aspects of life we are asked to and want to give our best. Whether this is in our marriage or friendships, in our work or schooling, extracurricular activities or serving. No matter what our life entails, we all want to give our best. The question that I started off with helps us consider what we define to be our best.
I was drawn to this mind exercise while listening to a couple of messages last week from a Church outside Chicago, Willow Creek. I encourage you to set some time aside to listen to Parts 3 & 7 in particular from the Simplify Series. The entire series is great and actually strikes a chord with the season of life I find myself in. But this, giving our best, is something I often think about. Primarily because it flows from my relationship with God. Over the past few years in particular, God has made it uber clear that because everything comes from Him, we should give our best back to Him. As a follower of Christ, I know and understand that I cannot do everything on my own and that I entrust my life to God. Living in this perspective has helped me reconsider how I give of my time, talents and treasure. In many ways we can think of our lives as an offering to God.
So I ask again, what is your best? My best I believe shall always be given to God. I shall give Him my best when I go to work, when I serve, when I tithe. In doing so, I am reflecting the trust in Him and the relationship I have with Him. I don’t simply give my best for myself, to inflate my status or reputation, nor to feel good. I give my best because the best has been given to me. The best has been given to you too if you believe and accept this! In Proverbs 3:6-10, the wisdom of scripture provides an illustration of our best, “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops”. Our best is the firstfruits. Do we give God our firstfruits? Do we give Him our best? You can also read Deuteronomy 26 for further insight from the Word of God.
To be able to come to a place where we are able to give our best, our firstfruits, we must humble ourselves knowing that we have all that we need and that we can rely on God to provide. Because of this, we honor Him with our best. That means we give the first of every paycheck, our energy and our service because we believe it comes from Him. He has given us our gifts to do the work we do and through it He has provided a means to receive resources that He entrusts to us to manage. In managing of these resources, our offering of thanks comes through giving back to Him. Do we do this before we pay our bills? I know I have struggled with this in past and I know many struggle with this. As my relationship with God has deepened, so has my trust and faith, from which flows my best; the firstfruits! I am continually challenged with using my energy for good things and not great things. Sometimes wasting my time with empty activities versus activities that help me grow and find life. Why is it so hard to give our best? I believe it starts with understanding why and to whom we shall give our best! I believe if we know we are giving our best to God, then we have no reason to deny that our firstfruits are what He deserves. If we believe in God, then we know He is our Creator and for this we shouldn’t be giving him our leftovers, He deserves our best! Will you give your best to God today? Tomorrow? Every day?