Wednesday, October 7, 2015
One thing that really rubs me the wrong way is a practice known as “baiting.” That is why I want you to know in advance, in case you want pass on today's blog or delete it altogether, that this topic is about giving. I understand that “baiting” is probably the most effective method in catching fish but when it is done to people, it is deceptive and unethical. Unfortunately, it is done by churches and Christian organizations as well. Recently, I was browsing through my favorite website, one where I find many valuable bible study resources, and I was intrigued by one free video that addressed the issue of one Commandment many churches are breaking. Naturally, I started watching the video, which by the way was excellently produced. The first four or five minutes were quite fascinating but soon after, I thought it was odd that many of the bible experts in it were all teachers, professors, or pastors of a certain Christian denomination. When they finally showed their hand that they were leading up to promote their denomination’s main doctrine, one which most evangelical churches do not agree with, I immediately turned it off. I’m sure this denomination believes they are right and the rest of the churches are wrong, especially in this doctrine. Nevertheless, to me what they did was not only underhanded, it was totally unchristian.
Back to the topic of giving, this one verse which I read this morning, inspired me to write about it: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor. 9:7 KJV) The NIV Bible calls it “not reluctantly or under compulsion” but I prefer “grudgingly.” This verse always reminds me of the story of the little boy in church whose dad gave him a dollar and a quarter right before the offering plate was going to be passed. He told the boy that one was his and the other would be for the Lord. Later, when the dad asked him why he gave the quarter and kept the dollar, the boy replied: “I heard the pastor say that God loves a cheerful giver and I knew if I gave the dollar, I was not going to be very cheerful.” Silly story as it is, that is exactly the point.
Keep this in mind: God doesn’t need our money, His servants and His churches do. And if one doesn’t give, the Lord will always find someone else who will. Because of it, when He asks us to give, it is not for Himself but for His servants everywhere. Now, put yourself in God’s place: How would you feel if someone handed you a dollar and said something like, “Here! Don’t be badgering me anymore.” That is a true picture of giving grudgingly. If those around you took notice of it, I bet one of them would urge you to tell the person to take back his dollar and go to……….. I’ll end by reminding you that when you love someone with all your heart, giving is automatic and that true love has no price tag.
Memory verse for the week: (Matthew 25:21 NIV) His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness’!