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Giving It All Away

A few weeks ago, I had an opportunity to talk with a gentleman who was visiting our church during an annual event.  After introducing myself as the pastor, the man felt it was necessary to tell me about his previous church experiences with many different congregations and the issues he had with each one, and the reasons he left those churches.  He then asked me the question, "do you preach about money?" to which I replied "I believe preaching about money and possessions is vitally important for Christian growth".  His response took me by surprise as he stated "I don't go to church anymore, and I certainly will not give money anymore because all the church does is give it away."  Wow!  My internal dialogue immediately began inside my head as I thought to myself how great it would be if the world really saw the Church doing this, and of course, if the Church actually followed through in giving it away.  I did respond to the man by simply stating "Well, yes, you are correct.  We do exist to give it away."  After an invitation to meet with me, the man dismissed himself and I have not seen him since (and I think I showered that day!)

I don't think Jesus was kidding when he said that his true followers would literally give up their lives, even risking their lives, for the sake of following him (Matthew 16:24).  In the same manner, I see the Church being most effective when we give it all away.  We are simply the stewards to care for what is rightfully God's in the first place, including our lives.  Are we willing to give up our lives?  I know that I have a lot more praying to do before I can say that I am really that committed.  Maybe this is one of those times when God's strength is made perfect in our weakness.

What about you?

What do you think about the Church being known as a place that gives it all away?  How does this thought influence your personal walk with Jesus?

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Comments

  1. Sadly, I think I'm most like the rich young man who asks Jesus how he can get to heaven. (Matthew 19:16-22) Oh, to be brave enough, or to have a faith great enough, to truly give it all away.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment, Jody. I believe I am much like the rich young man as well, having much hesitancy in actually following through. At the same time, we don't really know how the story ends with him; even though he goes away sorrowful he still has an opportunity to allow himself to be changed. I believe we all have this opportunity as well.

      Be Blessed,
      Aaron

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  2. Just what we need -- another reason for people NOT to give! This man won't give because the church gives it all away ... while others won't give because some of it goes into the paycheck of a pastor or a DS or a bishop they don't like. Some won't give because it goes to foreign missions, or because it goes into apportionments, or because the church isn't supposed to be about money, or because "no one can tell me what I'm supposed to do with my money." Sorry, I don't mean to be cynical. I wrestle with my own giving, as well. When will we learn that it's a spiritual issue, rather than economic?

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    1. I wrestle with my own giving also, Cindy. People are always looking for excuses not to give (myself included!) and I wonder if it has anything to do with our highly individualistic culture.

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  3. The Law of Attraction works when you give away, because then there is more room to attract more. The more anyone (or place) gives away, the more they will receive back.

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    Replies
    1. The more we give away, the more opportunity there is to be given back for sure. Our giving, however in a Christian sense should be out of gratitude first of all and the benefits of giving are just a bonus. Thanks for the comment!

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