Always make giving your greatest treasure

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 2, 2012

“Ohhhh! Do you see what I see?”

I groaned as I spotted the metal object that had caught my daughter’s eye.

“Yes, I think I do.”

“Isn’t it perfect?”

“Perfect,” I said, jumping onto Victoria’s bandwagon as it traveled through the first thrift store stop of our well-planned day. “It looks like a medieval candle holder.”

“It’s exactly what I need in my room.”

“Actually it’s a Mexican lamp,” informed the sales clerk. “I’m pretty sure it still works.”

To prove his point he put in a light bulb and plugged it into a wall socket. Its illumination quickly destroyed our medieval candleholder story. I bought it anyway. It was cheaper and easier to carry than the cabinet with the turntable.

Down the road a bit, we enjoyed almond macaroons and mocha cupcakes bought from a farmer’s market, visited two more thrift stores and finally stopped for lunch. Victoria insisted we support a locally owned restaurant rather than a large chain, and I happily went along with her plan.

The really fun part of our day was watching my husband’s expression as we unloaded the trunk when we returned home. “You really let her buy this stuff?” Michael asked.

“Yes,” I said. I wanted to say, “She has no money. Technically you bought this. Just be grateful I didn’t buy everything she wanted.” And there was so much. So many things from which to choose. Furniture, toys, dishes, shoes, books, tons of clothes and a Mexican lamp.

I wonder what the sum total of those items were when first purchased. How much was bought on credit? How many items were things the original owners didn’t think they could live without? How many pieces of clothing were worn only once?

I could ask those same questions of every item in my house. And while I don’t think we should feel guilty for enjoying material blessings, I want to always keep them in perspective. None of them will follow me into eternity, and few will even be with me the length of my short life here on Earth. I long to find balance in every area of life.

Paul’s words in 2 Corinthians 8:7 urge us to “see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” Seeking,

desiring, buying and acquiring may all have their place, but giving should always be factored into life’s equation. My modes of giving should involve investing time, energy, attention and even money into the lives and the areas where God leads. This is how I begin Jesus’ command to store up treasures in Heaven.

Whenever I walk into Victoria’s bedroom, her lamp instantly reminds me of the day we found it and the lesson I took from our experience. That lesson burns in my heart even brighter than the candle on the lamp. Did I mention she converted the lamp to a candleholder? She says it makes the lamp look medieval.

Ronny may be reached at