The GULP Factor
Sacrificial giving isn’t about the monetary amount. Sacrificial giving is about the amount that gets Jesus’ attention. When the rich people (in Jesus day and culture), heard this, they were challenged. They were wrongfully focused on the amount. The poor people, for the first time in their life, are realizing, “There’s hope for me. You mean my two cents matters?” Two cents, from someone like the widow in Mark 12:42, moves God although other people might look at it and say, “Man, that’s nothing.” Is that two cents, given from her poverty, a sacrifice that’s acceptable to God? The answer is a resounding yes.
Jesus said, “The rich gave out of their abundance.” It didn’t cost them. It didn’t move them. I want to introduce a deep, new spiritual principle to you. It’s called the Gulp Factor. G-u-l-p. The Gulp Factor is what defines sacrificial giving. Sacrificial giving is not, “Here’s a thousand dollars or a hundred thousand dollars or a million dollars. Man I’m glad to give it. No problem. I can handle that.” That’s a zero on the “gulp-o-meter.” The Gulp Factor is this: This is the kind of offering where you go “Gulp! Lord, I can’t believe I’m even thinking about this! I’ve never done this.”
That’s what the widow did. It got Jesus’ attention. She gave from her (Gulp) poverty. She didn’t have a surplus. It hurt, but at the same time, she knew God would bless her. She gulped, put her money down and God blessed her for her gift. Colonial preacher Jonathan Edwards said this, “If we would obtain any great benefits at the hand of God for what we do in deeds of charity, we must not only do something but we must be liberal and bountiful, free-hearted and open-handed.”
That is the Gulp Factor. That’s the changing and the stirring in our hearts, when we realize this is a faith and obedience issue and if God puts his finger on my stuff it is not to make me less, it is to make us more. It’s understanding that He does it to bring us out spiritually. He does it to bring our faith to the place where we are trusting Him for everything. Yes, it costs us. Yes, It challenges us. Yes, It has us feeling like we’re on thin ice and it’s cracking underneath us. It makes us gulp and say,”Lord, this means a lot to me but You mean more. So, although it cost me I will relinquish it cheerfully.”
That is the GULP factor and that is sacrificial giving.