Cheating God

I once heard of a man who worked as a construction foreman. He worked for the same man his whole career. When it came time to retire, his boss asked him to build one more house. Reluctantly he agreed. On this particular house, his heart wasn’t in it. He cut corners, allowed shoddy work, and didn’t take his time to do quality work. All he could think of was retirement, so he wanted to build the house quickly. 

When the house was finished, the boss came out to do a final walk through as was their custom. When he pointed out things here and there, the foreman made excuses. At the end, he asked him if he was happy with his work. He said he was. Then the owner said, “Thank you for doing this last house got me. You have done great work in all the years you have worked for me. I want to thank you for your hard work and faithfulness by giving you this house.” The foreman showed appreciation, but in his heart, he remembered how poor of a job he did.

In Malachi, God was upset because they were offering poor sacrifices. They offered blind, diseased, and crippled animals to God. When God called them out on it, they asked how they had defiled his altar. In Malachi 1:12, God said, “You dishonor my name with your actions” (NLT). Then in Malachi 3:8, He said, “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me.” Just like the foreman, they offered shoddy offerings to God. Their heart wasn’t in their gifts to God. 

I’ve heard it said that our talents are God’s gift to us. What we do with them are our gifts to Him. Beyond our gifts of money, our actions are a gift to God as well. What kind of offering are you giving God? Are you cutting corners, offering shoddy work, or lowering the quality of your work? Are you being thankful to God for the gifts He’s given to you? Psalm 50:23 says, “But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me. If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.” We can’t afford to cheat and dishonor God through our actions any more. 

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