"But when you present the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And when you present the lame and sick, is it not evil? Why not offer it to your governor? Would he be pleased with you? Or would he receive you kindly?" says the Lord of hosts." Mal 1:8
Consider our behavior when we are trying to impress or to please. We will marshal the very best that we have in order to give it to another. I am reminded of preteens as they discover members of the opposite sex. The same gifts for which they used to sacrifice in order to show their adoration for a parent are now replaced with afterthoughts or nothing at all, while a new girlfriend or boyfriend receives the fruit of long labor. I am reminded of adults who give the best of themselves at their jobs, applying every skill and cheerfully working overtime in order to gain favor that will lead to a promotion. They will even give to the local charity or political action fund, not because of a deep seated belief, but because it is the "company" thing to do.
A person's priorities can always be seen in how and where they spend their time and resources. It becomes very clear what is most important in their lives. Abel famously gave the very best that he had to God while his brother evidently did not hold the Lord in as high esteem. Let us always remember that God has given us His very best.
Why then beloved, do we cheat God in the giving of our best? Be it prayers, resources, works, representation or obedience, we consistently treat Him as an afterthought. This would be unacceptable to our bosses, spouses and the IRS and in most cases, we would not think of giving less than our best. Why do we not reserve our very best, our first fruits for Him who gives us His? Surely we must re-prioritize our lives.
As the saying goes, "give God what's right, not what's left."
Loving Like Jesus,