MANIPULATIVE GIVING

Much is said in Scripture about giving, and additional thoughts surface constantly on tithing. The New Testament emphasizes giving that should originate in the heart of an individual as over against tithing. In reality, the Old Testament giver gave far more than 10% if you add all of his required gifts that should be brought to the Lord. (For a springboard, read 1 Corinthians 12.)

For some reason, there are those that we encounter that give generously to the work of the Lord, (Churches/Christian Organizations,etc.) that think they are entitled to recognition or “chief seats” in response to their generosity. They forget that one of the gifts that God gives to certain individuals is the provision of their ability to give (Romans 12). Again, that being the case it is to be done with “no strings attached”.

James, in that little Book on practical Christian living, makes mention of how the ushers are prone to seat people in accordance with their attire. Remembering the manner they sat in the Synagogue, the Christians were doing the same thing. You talk about rebuke? James lets them know that Christians should be above that process of seating those that looked more prominent in more prominent places. That type of mentality for the Christian is not to be tolerated.

A brother in Christ asked on one occasion, “Pastor! When we have a dinner here at the church I noticed that you have a coffee pot in your hand and are visiting with each table and pouring coffee. That would not be the case in my previous church.” I looked at him and said simply: “It’s my style. Everyone in the congregation is equal and I want them to know that. By the way, everyone is wearing shoes and I do not have to wash their feet or carry a towel to wipe them.”

I love to remind us all that our giving should be worship! Shy of that amounts to unacceptable giving and probably has a hidden agenda.

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