One day, a certain rich man visited a rabbi, who took the rich man by the hand and led him to a window. “Look out there through the glass window,” he said. The rich man looked into the street, “what do you see?” asked the rabbi. “I see men, women, and children,” answered the rich man. Again, the rabbi took him by the hand and, this time, led him to a mirror. The rabbi asked, “Now, what do you see?” Puzzled and somewhat bewildered, the rich man said, “Now I see myself.” Then the rabbi said, “Behold, in the window, there is glass, and in the mirror, there is glass. Now, what do you see?” But the glass of the mirror is covered with a bit of silver (the rabbi used this to signify money), and no sooner is the silver added, you cease to see others; you see only yourself.”
It can be difficult to give to God when all we see is our needs and, therefore, our need to keep our money. It is even more difficult when all we can think of is what God can do for us. The Bible constantly challenges us to deny ourselves and be a disciple of Christ (Luke 14:26; Galatians 2:20). This is easier said than done. How do we do this and experience the power of the Holy Spirit, grow in our faith, and learn to trust in God to supply our needs (Luke 12:22-34)?
When we are saved, the Holy Spirit, who is the very nature of God, comes into our lives and takes up residence (Romans 8:1-3, 11), calling our bodies His temple, His dwelling place (1 Corinthians 6:19-20). The more we commit to obeying God, the more the Holy Spirit influences our lives. The more we submit ourselves to the direction of the Holy Spirit, as we implement God’s Word, the more the Holy Spirit empowers us to die to our own thoughts and feelings that may operate contrary to the Word of God (Romans 12:2). This is why the scriptures state that anyone who is a disciple of Christ loves others (John 13:34-35; Matthew 22:37-40).
Giving to God is difficult when we look in the mirror rather than through the glass under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Giving to God is difficult when the silver (money) behind the mirror causes us to focus on ourselves (1 Tim. 6:17-19). But when we remove the selfish use of money by deciding to obey Christ, we can clearly see the needs of our church as it ministers to the lives of others.