“Cheapskate: a stingy, miserly person.”
If a cheapskate is a stingy person, then a cheapskate King David was not…especially when it came to spiritual matters.
The prophet Gad had told him to build an altar to the Lord on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite (2 Samuel 24:18-24). So off he went, eager to obey. When David and his men arrived at the appointed site and told Araunah why he’d come, the Jebusite told him to use the threshing floor as he wished. Then he offered oxen for the offering, wooden yokes for the fire, and threshing tools. “I will give it all to you, and may the Lord your God accept your sacrifice,” said Araunah.
Most people would say, “Wow – thanks for the sweet deal!” But David wasn’t like most people. Rather than jumping at the opportunity to save a few shekels, he turned the freebie down. “No, I insist on buying it, for I cannot present burnt offerings to the Lord my God that have cost me nothing.” David then paid him 50 pieces of silver for the floor and the oxen.
I applaud David for his stance. It helps me understand that my relationship with God carries a personal cost, and I should be more than happy to pay it. After all, God was no cheapskate when He paid the price for my salvation with the life of His Son. Shame on me if I’m a cheapskate in how I live out that salvation.
Being a follower of Christ carries a cost. It might mean giving up a spare evening to invest time in the lives of hurting people. It may require dipping into a savings account to go on or to send someone on a short-term ministry trip. It might mean risking a reputation to publically defend a righteous cause, or be inconvenienced by practicing hospitality in the midst of a frantic schedule.
Being a Christ-follower means more than hoping for a free ride to heaven. It’s about recognizing and appreciating what our salvation cost God, and being willing to pay whatever cost is necessary to show our love to Him in return. May the term cheapskate never apply to us in spiritual matters, or otherwise.