Wednesday, February 9, 2011
How do you view Tithing?
How we view our giving is important. Whether we are talking about tithing, offering, capital campaign, whatever... We are covenanted, having promised, to support our place of worship and the ministries generated from it.
This video is funny, but sadly it is also true:
1. The non-giver. Doesn't give but gives the appearance of giving. Perhaps God will give him the appearance of salvation, rather than the real thing.
2. God as an investment. Prosperity thinking all the way. Hear the actor when he says, "Do I love Him?...Whatever." Fortunately we serve a God who loves us anyway.
3. The clueless giver, counts everything and anything as a tithe. Come on, a "smile...boom-shaka-laka-tithe." I wonder if this works for the IRS? Don't get me wrong, making someone else smile is important and wonderful, but it doesn't help pay the bills. When was the last time you were behind in your bills, and smile got you off the hook?
4. Excuse-giver. Yes, we all have bills and obligations. But listen carefully as this gentlemen says hat he must first take care of what he wants (not just his needs) before he can even consider tithing.
5. Manipulator- I will give more, when I get more. I'll throw in a few more Benjamins when the choir starts singing songs I like and when the pastor starts talking about what I want to hear. And what I want to hear is that everyone should be more like me.
6. Pageant-giver. Now, anyone who knows me knows that this is my biggest bug. Every Sunday I have an internal struggle about this. The church that I grew up ion took up offering all at once. There was a separate receptacle to receive the tithes, but everyone went to put their money in together. That is not our current situation. The tithers are called forth separately. This by itself has no impact on whether I tithe or not, and if you really want to know you can ask me....but, every single Sunday I ask myself , and usually the poor soul sitting next to me, "Is it more important that I actually tithe (or make any other contribution), or is it more important that I be seen doing it?" But I digress...
We are here to help further the Kingdom of God. We have bound ourselves to a particular house of God, a particular church family in the Body of Christ. Just like our nuclear families we are responsible for taking care of it, seeing to its upkeep, and helping it not become irrelevant in reaching out to the dying world. Just like our nuclear families, we do not (should not) run away from home over minor disagreements. We don't leave the body, we pull closer into the Body for prayer and encouragement. We do not stop contributing to the electric bill because someone slighted us. We stand by our convictions, and we demonstrate the love of Christ to those who are hurting.
We are to be a shining example to the world around us. The world is in need of Christ's light, living water, and love...and we are His Body.
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