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Old 07-26-2009, 06:42 PM
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Jassy Jassy is offline
Join Date: May 2009
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 299
Default Attitude of Giving

The most common Scriptures used in the church today before the "offering" music begins to play are:

Malachi 3:10 - Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.

Malachi 3:8 - Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings.

Mark 12 and Luke 21 talk about a poor widow who threw in or cast in "two mites."

Now apparently, this was a large sum of her income, if you go percentage-wise.

If someone throws in $1,000 and their income is only $5,000/yr. and another throws in $1,000 and their income is $50,000/yr., well who has been the most generous, percentage-wise? The $1,000 out of the $5,000 was given out of great sacrifice. The $1,000 out of the $50,000 would scarcely be noticed.

The Lord doesn't care about the amount, He cares about the HEART with which it is given. HE doesn't NEED our money!! It's all HIS anyways! Don't you think, if He is the creator and owner of all things, that He could easily supply all of our need? Of course!! He wants to see a willing heart; that's what He desires. It's all about ATTITUDE!

Since churches generally use the Old Testament scriptures quoted above to more or less "guilt" people into giving, guess who the banks' BIGGEST customers must be on Monday morning? Well, following Sunday church services, church secretaries, of course! They're eager to deposit the "tithes" into the church banking account. Nevermind if it's going into the church building fund, the missionary fund, the minister's salary, or any other part of the church "budget." How can we be so sure that our money is properly given and properly being used?

That is where we are given freedom and we must use wisdom to decide where, when and how much to give. That is our choice. I once heard that giving was out of WORSHIP of our Lord. They said that the word "worship" was originally a contraction of the words "worth" and "ship." And that we were to pay the ministers according to how much we felt they were WORTH in our Christian learning. Now I don't know if that is true or not... but it is our own choice to make, as sister Jennifer pointed out. And I agree with that.

I'm sorry that I'm so very negative and skeptical about this tithing topic. I came out of the cultist Worldwide Church of God, which taught people not only that they owed a tenth of all of their earnings to the church, but that they also must tithe an additional "tenth of a tenth" to help the poor who did not have enough income.

CONSIDER: Have you ever watched the faces of those around you, who were placing their hard-earned money into the collection plate on Sunday morning? Have you noticed the solemnity with which people associate this time in church? Have you EVER seen someone release whatever they've given into the collection place with a smile of JOY on their face? THAT, brother or sister, should be how we ALL give - yet I've never once seen a person SMILE while giving! Not ONCE!! I've seen a scowl. I've seen a smirk. I've seen a frown. I've seen a harried expression. I've seen a straight solemn expressionless face. But nary a smile.

As someone said here the Lord loves a "cheerful giver." (2 Corinthians 9:7)

Am I against giving to the church? Of course not. The early churches did take up collections on the first day of the week (Sunday), whenever Paul was NOT present, to support the ministry. Paul and the apostles did much travelling and that was not free. In addition, Paul WORKED. He was a tentmaker. He didn't expect the church to support him, nor did he require it. Yet he was thankful for whatever was given and he used it properly.

We are taught to be "good stewards" of what we are given. If a person is in debt - with credit cards - well, they ought to pay off those cards FIRST and make that a priority. If giving to the church is putting them further into debt, that's not what a person should be doing. God isn't going to magically pay-off those credit cards that have been misused! He's not going to bless you, if you've been a bad steward of what he has entrusted you with.

Yes, God does sometimes choose to bless people. Sometimes I think of it like a TEST. Will the person properly use or MISuse those resources? Will the person become narcissistic? Will the person develop an "entitlement" view?

I've known far too many Christians who, having been blessed with a fancy house, expensive cars, and new, modern furniture, fully believe that it is the end result of their faith and God's blessings upon them. They fully believe that, if you are rich, then you're reaping the blessings of your faith. If you're poor, then there's obviously something lacking in your faith. That saddens me, simply because they'll never experience the richness in faith that poverty or suffering might bring. I've seen people living in great JOY who have very little and who need very little. After all, we are told that squeezing a camel through the eye of a needle is not easy!! (Matthew 19:24, Mark 10:25, Luke 18:25)

I have no jealousy or hard feelings against those who have wealth. To me, that's neither here nor there in my faith. I would pray for blessings, only to do what may not be possible with my present income. I'd really love to support some foreign missionaries, to send Bibles, tracts and other literature into poverty-ridden areas of the world. To strengthen the faith of those who are in Christian-minority countries.

Lord, please bless me in that way, so that I may be a good steward of your blessings and be able to help others who are more needful. In the name of Jesus Christ, I pray. Amen. [Note: The prayer doesn't magically mean that the blessings will rain down upon me!]