There’s a lesson in leftovers. In our home there are two ways to serve leftovers. One is like today, planned. Knowing that we have some things left over from the week’s previous meals, we select the best of our favorites from what has already been served, and we feast. After all, we don’t want to be wasteful and although it may not be the best, it’s good enough! Today was chili bratwurst dogs!
The other is way we serve leftovers is a little more unplanned. Those are the days where things get away from me. The great meal I planned to bless my dear husband with gets shoved aside for an extra meeting, lunch with a friend, or unexpected phone calls. So I dig and scrounge through the fridge and cabinets in order to find something to throw together and call supper. It’s probably not the freshest or the best, it’s just what it is–good enough.
My husband is a pretty understanding guy, and I have never once heard him complain about either method of serving leftovers. (Although he calls them “scraps”) But it doesn’t take long for me to be on the lookout for how often those kinds of days are occurring. Because I have learned that when I am regularly serving Tim the “scrounge around food” leftovers, I may also be serving him time leftovers, listening leftovers, and love leftovers. What that means to me is that things are out of balance and I’m not giving the man I love what he is worthy of.
But it’s more than just what I serve my husband, because Tim isn’t the only one who can wind up getting what’s left over from me.
If I’m not careful I can wind up doing what Francis Chan calls, “Serving leftovers to a holy God.” I need to be aware of my priorities, my time, my choices, my offerings and ultimately my heart in order to keep the main things the main things and to be sure that God retains his 1st place status, and that I am offering Him all that He is worthy of and not just “good enough”.
In Malachi God calls those who offer these inadequate offerings cheats. Cheats! And He asks where the respect is in the offerings brought to Him.
“When you bring injured, lame or diseased animals and offer them as sacrifices, should I accept them from your hands?” says the Lord. “Cursed is the cheat who has an acceptable male in his flock and vows to give it, but then sacrifices a blemished animal to the Lord. For I am a great king,” says the Lord Almighty, “and my name is to be feared among the nations.” Malachi 1:13-14
We can be guilty of the same thing, excusing our behavior as an accident or backsliding or opportunity or a busy schedule or we might not even realize we are doing it. But if we are indeed offering God what is leftover, it’s imperative that we recognize, repent, and reprioritize so that God can restore us and resume 1st place again. When God is truly 1st place, the things we offer Him will be worthy of the God He is because of our love for Him.
So today is again, for me, one of those days when I take stock of what I’ve been offering God to make sure that He is getting the best all the time, and not just what is leftover. It is clear that what is “good enough” for Jehovah God is always what is best.