At the risk of appearing snobbish or ungrateful, I’ve got a confession to make: I don’t like leftovers, i.e. cold food that is in need of being reheated. I always have the best of intentions to pull last night’s meal out of the refrigerator, throw it in the microwave, nuke it, and consume it, but I fail to do so time and time again. Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve eaten my fair share of leftovers, but I can’t honestly say that I don’t enjoy eating leftovers. The food never seems to taste or look the same. It lacks something.
With respect to your Christian walk, do you realize that God is not interested in your leftovers? In fact, Jesus says that we are to “seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matt. 6:33, emphasis added). Among other things, this means that God should come first in every aspect of our lives. Indeed, we should NOT give God our leftover love (Matt. 22:37-38), time (Eph. 5:18), thoughts (Phil. 4:8), service (Gal. 5:13-14), or money (Prov. 3:9; 1 Cor. 16:2; 2 Cor. 8-9). In the mind of God, such leftovers lack something.
Being content with giving God the leftovers reveals something about the person who has this attitude. John said, ”We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:9, emphasis added). God loved us all so much in the midst of our sin that He took the initiative by sending His Son into the world to die in our place (John 3:16; Rom. 5:8). God gave us His very best; in return, He expects the same. Indeed, contentment in giving God the leftovers exposes an ungrateful, selfish attitude.
Leftovers are fine when it comes to nourishing our physical bodies. At times, leftovers are unavoidable, even necessary. However, with respect to God and our spirituality, a life of leftovers is unacceptable, especially when we take into account the example of His Son (cf. Phil. 2:5-11).
Pulaski Street church of Christ