1 Chr. 29:14
But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this. Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.
He did not start out life wealthy. When he had little, he gave little. When he had much, he gave much. As his finances grew, he gave much more than he kept for himself. Instead of giving 10% to God and keeping 90%, he was able to give 90% to God and live from just 10%. This was possible only because he was starting out with so much, but he soon began to judge others based on whether they were as generous as he. He was blessed to live as he did, but he did not recognize that others simply did not have the resources to give as he gave. His giving made him proud and made him elevate himself above others, but he failed to realize that nothing he ever gave actually came from him in the first place.
I was telling a story recently about a time when God asked me to give to someone whom I did not think deserved my generosity. She was not someone I knew well, but she had treated me poorly in front of others during the short retreat where we met. Her pastor waited until she was not around and then let us know that she could use help paying for an upcoming mission strip. He asked us to take up a collection, and I froze. I had just received a bonus from work, and God was telling me to give her my money. I fought for a moment before making my way into town to find an ATM. I really did not want to part with my money to help her cause, but I had it wrong. God was only asking me to use his money as He wanted it to be used.
David understood that he and his people had nothing to offer God because everything already is his. When the Lord asks us to give to him or to anyone in his name or for his purpose, He is only asking us to put his money where He wants it. Generosity is not to be credited to us because we have nothing; He is the one who has. We only help him move it along as He sees fit. Our money, our property, and everything we can count as a resource or possession belongs to the Almighty. We are no one to be generous because we have not. Father, thank You for your generosity over us that allows us to give as You would have us give and for directing our giving clearly.