(Warning – stepping up on a soap box. 🙂 )
When did it happen?
When did we start thinking that in order to give something, we must get something in return?
When did generosity turn into entitlement?
When did church become a place for the consumer mentality rather than one of giving all we have in worship to the King?
Something in our culture has changed us. And it isn’t for the better.
Instead of giving to the work of the Lord out of obedience, people have decided to give to the church (or any organization) based on what that church (or organization) gives to them.
Is the childcare good? Is the coffee free? Does the pastor preach sermons that make me feel good? Does the music move me?
If the answer is “yes,” then I will give, if not, then I will keep my money for myself.
After all church is about what I can get out of it, right?
When we come to worship, we should be coming ready to give everything we have and everything we are to the God who saved us. He has given us more than we deserve. He has saved us from death and brought us life. He is the reason that we live. He has given us homes, families, food, jobs, and so much more. Nothing that we have is of our own making. This God of the universe loves us so much that He couldn’t stand to be separated from us. He sent His Son as a way to bridge the gap that the fall of Adam and Eve created.
Yes, churches are run by people, and yes, sometimes we don’t like decisions that people make, but that is not why we do or don’t give.
We give to the work of the Lord, as a token of our thanksgiving and joy for the life that we have been given.
It doesn’t matter if we don’t like the way the nursery is run.
It doesn’t matter if we think we give enough that we should get a free cup of coffee.
It doesn’t matter if your toes hurt after Sunday’s sermon.
It doesn’t matter if the music isn’t to your liking.
All that matters is you are alive because of the love of God and He says the appropriate response to Him is to give ALL of yourself – time, talents, and money – to His work in this world.
Giving generously is a right of the Kingdom. Free coffee is not.