Day 39: We’re Created to Worship Together – By Giving Our Offerings Together

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Point to Ponder: Giving back to God is the heart of worship
Verse to Remember: “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” — Matthew 6:21 (NIV)
Question to Consider: What does my giving say about the direction and question of my heart?
[Read More] thoughts on Day 39 of Rick Warren’s 40 Days of Community.

As I mentioned earlier, money is usually the least of my giving challenges. Still, I appreciated Rick’s triplistic justification for tithes and offerings:

* Past gratitude
* Present priorities
* Future faith

Which I think apply to much more than financial transfers. In particular, I am curious how what is sometimes called the “implicit indirect implication” principle might illuminate blockages to giving. That is, if I am not giving joyfully (action) in a particular area, it could well mean that I:

* Feel I have not received sufficient from God in the past (emotion)
* Have not chosen to make God my top priority (intention)
* Believe that God is not going to supply my needs in the future (reason)

Actually,
those propositions — and various permutations thereof — all reinforce each
other. The question is then, “How do we unwind the stack?” I believe it has to start with intentions (since that is the only part of ourselves we can directly control). That is:

1. I choose to affirm God as the top priority in my life (intention)
2. I act out that intention by giving to God what He deserves, and others what they need (action)
3. I experience God’s provision as He confronts and assuages my fears (emotion)
4. I believe God based on the evidence of His reality (reason)

I realize this may appear backward from the usual formulation. But, even though our intentions are typically supported by reason, sometimes it is necessary for intention to deliberately guide our reason, because reason by itself is never enough. But that’s a whole ‘nother blog…

Of course, that’s just how I deal with myself. God can (and does) deal with me directly through my emotions, and other people can help provide reasons. But, ultimately, I must choose. There’s always a choice.

Prayer: Father, I want to choose to believe you. I choose to give myself to you and those I love. Help me to lay down my life for my wife, and my church. I want to see your hand of blessing and provision strengthen my faith, but I know that can only happen if I let go of my complacent self-sufficiency and take risks. Open my eyes and my heart — for the past, present and future — that I may truly know your reality. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

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