I heard the story of a carpenter who spent his whole career working for one builder. When it came time to retire, he spoke to his boss. The builder begged him to stay on for one more job. Reluctantly he accepted even though he didn’t want to. During the whole job, his heart wasn’t in it. He cut corners and did some shoddy work. When the house was finished, he called the boss to come do a final walk through. After walking through the house, the builder turned to the carpenter and handed him the keys. He told him that he had been a good worker all those years and wanted to gift him a house. The carpenter was very thankful, but all he could think about was how he was going to have to live in a house where he cut the corners and did shoddy work.
In Genesis 4, we read the story of Cain and Abel, the sons of Adam and Eve. Both were raised in relationship with God and knew Him. Cain became a farmer and Abel a shepherd. The Bible doesn’t tell us if they gave offerings to God often or if the offering in this chapter was the first one. Both decided to give God an offering from their work. Verses 3-4 say, “When it was time for the harvest, Cain presented some of his crops as a gift to the Lord. Abel also brought a gift—the best portions of the firstborn lambs from his flock” (NLT). Cain gave from his harvest, but not really his best. That’s why God rejected his offering. It was a half hearted gift while Abel brought his best.
Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatever you do, do well.” I believe excellence is a choice. Every day we’re faced with the opportunity to give God our best or something less than that. Our offerings to God are more than our money. Paul said in Philippians 2:17 that our faithful service is an offering to God. Everything we do for God should be done from our best efforts. It doesn’t have to be perfect, but it can’t be our leftovers. Look at your life and the service you’ve been offering God. Is there room for improvement? Find ways to give God excellence in your life. When you give Him your best, He honors you and blesses your life.