This is a pondering that attempts to meddle – I’m sorry.
I was asked by one of our readers to do a pondering on this topic…it’s a good one. It is a rather relevant one too, isn’t it? If we were truly honest with ourselves (and no one else) – we might admit that there are times when we take our resources and our blessings for granted.
In a world, currently that is consumed with who will win the next Powerball lottery jackpot, we don’t often fathom what we already have to be a true blessing…because we crave more.
I do not mean to step on anyone’s toes today, any more than I am already stepping heavily upon my own – and this hurts. But I can confess that I have, at times, neglected to give the Lord the best…instead I’ve given Him what’s left. Why would we do such a thing? How could we neglect the Author of Life our first fruits? Life does happen. Bills sometimes pile up. Children, like vacuums, suck the dollars right out of your wallet. But are those just excuses sometimes? Am I just attempting to rationalize my spending or my haphazard, inconsistent giving? -Yes.
You might say that I’m being hard on myself…perhaps I am. But who ought to take responsibility for what we do or don’t do? Will anyone else take that blame from me? Is it someone else’s fault when I short change God with my tithes of time, talent and treasure? Of course not.
I am not shifting blame, please don’t take it that way.
I wonder sometimes if, as leaders, we set the bar higher for others and yet that bar suddenly doesn’t apply to us? Does this happen? Are there times (in any organization and/or church) when leadership decides these are the guidelines for those under them, but those same guidelines do not apply to the administrators of those same guidelines? Do double standards apply to financial giving from Administration to Subordinates? Does this happen from IHQ/THQ/DHQ/Corps? I certainly hope not, this is not necessarily my experience.
Where does financial accountability play into this?
How important is it to be consistent from Administration all the way down to volunteer and soldier/adherent/attendee?
Let me give you my opinion on this subject – Accountability matters from the top down, and from the down to the top. We must be accountable with the big things, we must also be accountable with the small things regardless of rank or lack there of.
Back To You And Me
We can not, however, afford to look over the fence at anyone else other than ourselves when it comes to being good stewards of the things God has given to us to take care of. We are accountable first to God, then to those He has placed above us. What we do with our time, talent and treasure matters. How we spend any of that – matters. Who we are in and out of church or the office – matters. There isn’t a time clock that we sluggishly punch each day then get home and take off our masks to become someone else. We are His – that should be our identity.
Questions to Ponder:
I find it very interesting that other “churches” (and I know we’re not specifically a church) support the ministries they do through tithing…It is equally interesting that most Salvation Army corps cannot fully support the ministries they do in their communities, let alone World Services through tithing alone…is that a good thing or bad thing? Is it because many of our corps members do not have the financial resources to consistently tithe? (this could very well be the case)
Have I, or am I (on a personal level) short changing God in my tithing?
Am I building MY kingdom here with stuff, trophies of my accomplishments, hoarding my resources…is this who I am?
Are there areas of my life where self-denial is lacking?
Can I be honest with myself and with God when it comes to my tithing habits?
Are there other places in the world that could use my financial contributions?
Do I give consistently to World Services?
Do I give consistently to my Corps?
Do I care about poverty in my world? What can I do to help?
Do my contributions matter?
Am I giving enough? Is it Net or Gross Pay?
There is much to discover and ponder in this topic today…I hope the shoe prints on our toes fade…then again, maybe not.
Something more to for us to ponder today!
Disclaimer: The opinions and thoughts expressed in Pastorsponderings.org are the expressed opinions and thoughts of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of The Salvation Army.