Don’t Give God the leftovers!

Charlie Chim

When it comes to food, I have no problem with leftovers – in most cases.  There are just some things that I can eat over and over again, even if it’s a day old. Utilizing leftovers is a very frugal practice and teaches us to be good stewards and not to be wasteful.  

It could be a big pot of Pho that we continue to eat for several servings.  Perhaps having some creamy, garlic mashed potatoes for lunch from the night before…nothing wrong with that! Maybe we go out for a dinner at a restaurant and order more than we can eat in one sitting.  Those leftovers make for another great meal, or possibly a kind gesture if we share with family that didn’t get to go out with us that night.  

In many cultures, it is a generous act to give leftovers to others…however in some cultures, depending on what the definition of leftovers is, it can be quite offensive if offered.

For example:

• If the leftovers were untouched, palatable, and presentable, that would be considered a thoughtful gesture to save for a loved one in some cultures.

•If the leftovers were dug into with multiple used spoons, and/or the leftovers were actually unpresentable (everything was mixed together) that would be considered disrespectful.

•In some cultures, leftovers are to never be offered to anyone that is considered to be our “senior” or our “authority” (parents, grandparents, etc).

The Bible says in Malachi 1:6-8:

A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? And if I be a master, where is my fear? Saith the LORD of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name. And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name? Ye offer polluted bread upon mine altar; and ye say, Wherein have we polluted thee? In that ye say, the table of the LORD is contemptible. And if ye offer the blind for sacrifice, is it not evil? And if ye offer the lame and sick, is it not evil? Offer it now unto thy governor; will he be pleased with thee, or accept thy person? Saith the LORD of hosts.

In today’s scripture, the Lord is speaking through the prophet Malachi. He brings forth a heart-breaking and heart-searching accusation upon Israel’s priests, but it applies to all of God’s people, including us.

God is basically saying, “Why do you neglect me? And why do you despise my name?” God was very bothered that it appeared His people were giving their human relationships more attention than to Him. This passage reveals that He was receiving “polluted leftovers” which in essence polluted His altar.

God basically calls the priest’s sacrifice evil. Why? It was because it was not the best offering they had available. It was because it was not of the highest quality.  And it was because it was not very costly.

We must understand and keep in the forefront of our minds that our God deserves our very best! Unfortunately, perhaps we too have been guilty of giving God the leftovers! Maybe we have been guilty of hoarding our best resources, talents, and time by either keeping it for ourselves or giving it to others, but not to God.

God is so wonderful and amazing that He should get the highest quality of everything!  When He does, we’ll know it. When He does, we won’t regret it.  When He does, we’ll want to do it again and again!

What does God think of what we are offering Him?  Is it worthy for a King?  Is it the best of our time? Is it the best of our affections? Does it cost us something? Or is it evil? Are we giving God our leftovers?  

I encourage you today: think about what you offer to God on a daily basis. Maybe for some of us it would explain the little that God is doing in our lives.


Colossians 3:23 – “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

Charlie Chim

Bro Chim and his wife joyfully serve the Lord together as he teaches the Foundations Adult Bible Class. They have five amazing children. Bro Chim serves the Lord full-time as the principal of Pacific Baptist School.

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