Stress is high, finances are low, and many of us worry about how to make ends meet. I admit that what money I have to put in the offering plate at church isn’t much compared to what others might be able to give. All things considered, to help alleviate some financial stress I’ve decided I’m not going to give any of my money to the church.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m very thankful for what I have, and am very invested in our church, but God has entrusted me with a lot – amazing kids, a wonderful husband, a house, and everything that comes with nurturing children and a marriage and managing a household. He has gifted my husband with a job that pays enough to keep a roof over our heads and food on our table. God has blessed me with the opportunity to take care of other people’s children so we have “extra” money every now and then. God has brought people into my life who care for me and challenge me, as well as include me in a network of mutual support so that I am rarely in need of anything. God has led me to a place where I have a somewhat unique view on the value of the things and the people in my life.
God has provided all these wonderful things to me. To be a good steward, I need to carefully and responsibly manage these gifts.
In order to do this, I will put money God has blessed us with into the offering plate. I will also offer the time and talents God has given me to the church. In doing so I will give back to God what He has so generously given me. You see, the money wasn’t mine in the first place.
Life is a gift from God. Everything we have in this life is a gift. It is only right that we give back to the Giver of Gifts what we are able. Perhaps going beyond what we are comfortable with to what we are really able to give.
What would happen if we were to choose to move through our lives seeing gift bows on each dollar we spend, remembering who it is that provides us with the money? Would we then think about how much of our money we’re giving to God, or rather how much of God’s money we’re keeping for ourselves?
Deuteronomy 8:17-18 (The Message) If you start thinking to yourselves, “I did all this. And all by myself. I’m rich. It’s all mine!” – well, think again. Remember that GOD, your God, gave you the strength to produce all this wealth so as to confirm the covenant he promised to your ancestors- as it is today.
[Ok, I'll admit it - I cheated a bit with today's post. I was asked to write an article on Stewardship for my church newsletter, and now that the newsletter has been published, I thought I'd post it here as well. You are welcome to share!]