Whenever I go to a restaurant, take a cab, drop off my coat at a check stand or do pretty much any other thing that’s service-related. I endeavor to make sure I have enough money to tip. Sometimes, when I go to a restaurant and don’t eat everything given to me, I save the rest and take it home in a doggie bag. Similarly, when I’m at home and don’t clean my plate, I give what’s left to the dogs. I do the same thing with any leftovers in the fridge that don’t get eaten on a timely basis. I don’t think I’m the only person who does these things.

Before I go out to a restaurant or take a cab I make sure ahead of time to have enough to cover the actual cost and the tip. When I think about the tip, I plan for a good tip because I hope to get good service. When I’m eating that meal in the restaurant, and I know I can take part of it home in a doggie bag, I plan on not eating it all then and there. Even when I’m at home, there are times when I think the dogs would like some of what I’m eating, so I don’t eat it all. Even leftover food put into the fridge has a plan behind it. If I don’t eat it, the dogs will, and they will love it.

Now, I know we don’t all have dogs to give leftovers to, but most of us have gone out at one time or another and tipped. When I give my leftovers to my dogs they appreciate whatever I give to them. They’re dogs, and as much as I love them, they’re not going to see me any differently if I give them leftovers or don’t. Consequently, I can give them a lot, very little, or nothing at all. However, when we tip, there’s something else that goes on. The odds are the person serving us needs the tip and counts on it for their income. Some people, when they tip, evaluate the service and tip accordingly. I usually have a baseline for a tip, that covers what’s expected and then go over it when the experience warrants it.

In either case, tipping someone or giving leftovers to my dogs, I’m doing it to show appreciation. While there really is no comparison to a person who serves and a dog, the issue I’m considering here has to do with wealth and our hearts. Let’s take a look at this passage from Luke.

As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

Luke 21:1-4 (NIV)

What’s happening in this passage? The rich are giving what they can spare without impacting their overall wealth. There’s absolutely no degree of sacrifice in their giving, and they won’t miss it. This is kinda like me giving my leftovers to my dogs. In such cases, I really haven’t put much thought into what’s left and figure the dogs should be happy they’ve gotten anything at all. The other thing we see here is the widow who gives everything she has to live on.

What I see in this passage is an expression of appreciation and trust from the widow. While there may be a certain degree of appreciation from the rich people here, it seems to fall into the category of leftovers. They give and don’t notice that they’ve given. They feel comfortable with what they’ve given because it has no impact on their lives. The widow, on the other hand, gave all she had.

How do we show appreciation to God? He doesn’t need our money, time, or anything from us. However, how we use the resources He’s given us matters because it reveals what’s in our hearts. When we wake up in the morning, do we jump up out of bed, get ready and then go off to do whatever we’re doing for the day? Then, after a long day, do we read our Bible and pray before going to bed? Giving what we have leftover from the day to God, or do we plan each day to spend the first part of our day with God? What about our finances? Do we set aside a sum each week, before spending it, to give as an offering?

It’s easy to get turned around about the things that are important in our lives when we’re chasing the wrong things or focused on the wrong things. I’m going to leave you with this.

Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need.

Matthew 6:33 (NLT)

Do you know God? God knows you, and He loves you. He sees you as significant because you are. No one is insignificant to Him. He’s with you today, right now, and He wants you to know Him. Jesus died for your sins and mine so we could be free of guilt, be freed from death, and live eternally with Him. Eternal salvation is just a prayer away.

Pray this prayer with me to accept the gift of salvation today:

Lord Jesus, forgive me for all my sins. I repent from my ways. Wash me in your blood and cleanse me from all unrighteousness. I believe that you died on the cross, were buried, and on the third day, God the Father raised you from the dead. Right now, Lord Jesus, I open the door to my heart, and I receive you into my heart as my Lord and personal Savior. Amen.

If you prayed that prayer, then congratulations! You are on the first step of a brand new life. Allow me to be the first to welcome you to my family, the family of God. There are abundant resources available online for new Christians. You can visit here for more information on what to do next. You can also leave me a comment, and I’ll do my best to help you on the next step of this incredible journey.