Anyone who is a Christian and has attended church for any period of time will know what I am talking about. It's THE Speech. The one that every pastor has to give from time to time. It's the message that we all need to hear. It's the message, that even though you don't want to hear it, God has planned to use to speak directly to you. We had that message yesterday. It's title was "Mastering Your Money. God's Blueprint for Living and Giving." 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
With the economy the way it is Pastor Charlie had to give the speech. Our giving is down and our finances at church are in serious trouble. With soaring gas and food prices, people just aren't giving like they should. Before I go any further, let me make it abundantly clear that this blog is not to make anyone feel like they are not giving to the Lord. How much you give is between you and Him. This blog is about me and how the message touched me.
I've shared many times about the fact that I'm not working right now. It's a choice we made based on many factors, not the least being we felt the Holy Spirit was leading me to quit. I've also shared about how we have been fine. We haven't touched savings and we have not really changed our lifestyle. We have started to look at purchases as wants versus needs and have adjusted our spending accordingly. Through it all, God has faithfully provided a day of overtime or a great sale.
Recently, I've noticed that when it came time to write out our tithe check I was allowing my mind to wander and to think about all the things that I could DO with that check or all the things I could BUY with that check. I believe what the bible says about giving, but I wasn't following scripture. I was allowing my fears about the current economy to cloud my thinking and to make me less than a cheerful giver.
Pastor Charlie's message wasn't threatening nor was it designed to make you feel bad. It was probably one of the best "we need money" messages I've ever heard. He truly explained why we should WANT to give.
2 Corinthians 9:7 says- "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." Pastor Charlie said that each of us should pray about what amount we should give and that we should cheerfully WANT to give. He says that when we drop our offering into the bag we should hold on to it for one last second and THANK God for the opportunity to give to Him. By doing this we are acknowledging that without HIM we wouldn't have anything, let alone money to put into the offering. Pastor Charlie went on to say something that I had never thought about. He said that giving should be a form of worship. I had never thought about giving as even remotely being a form of worship. By worshipping him when we give that check each Sunday we are showing him that we acknowledge all things come from Him. We are simply giving Him what is already his.
Our tithe check is always the first check that I write out on payday. All other bills are paid after we give back to the Lord. That won't change, but the attitude with which I write that check and the attitude with which it is given on Sunday certainly will. Thanks Charlie for being the vessel for the Holy Spirit to present a new perspective and for giving me a much needed attitude adjustment.