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Has Your Church Given Up on Giving?

The health of the congregation can affect the offering plate of the church.

We know this because of 3 John 1:2, KJV, “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.”

 Church folk have difficulty with the “above all things” part. We are built to sacrifice, Romans 12:1 even says we live to sacrifice.  

But what if we are sacrificing the wrong thing?

 

In our commitment to the church, from the pulpit to the pew, we have neglected to take care of the crucial intersection between faith and function—our health. Our health is where the spiritual and the natural collide. Yet, we wear the neglect of our health as a badge of honor to display the limitless sacrifices we are willing to make for spiritual advancement.

 

Now, knowing that more health issues means less people in the pews and therefore less money in the offering plate…

 

And knowing also also that more health issues means less discretionary income and therefore less free will offering above the tithe— let’s consider this giving concept as well: 2 Corinthians 9:7, ESV, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

If you are under health constraints, big or small, it inevitably becomes part of your mental calculations when it comes to your money. Therefore, how does this impact your ability to give cheerfully? You may give out of spiritual principle. You may give out of a desire to thank and please God. You may even give out of habit. But are you giving cheerfully?

If members of the congregation are not giving cheerfully, how does this affect the spirit that hovers over what is collected? If members are instead giving

  • fearfully, for they don’t know if they’ll have enough to cover the next doctor’s bill; or
  • regrettably, because they dipped into their prescription money; or
  • begrudgingly, because they’ve been asking God for healing yet they aren’t willing to eat better, drink better, do better, and change their lifestyle to meet this place of healing

What if these spirits –fear, regret, grudge– follow the offering plate instead?  

How does this affect the seed that is sown? How does this affect the harvest of that seed?

2 Corinthians 9:5 (MSG) politely warns us, “I want you to have all the time you need to make this offering in your own way. I don’t want anything forced or hurried at the last minute. Remember: A stingy planter gets a stingy crop; a lavish planter gets a lavish crop. I want each of you to take plenty of time to think it over, and make up your own mind what you will give. That will protect you against sob stories and arm-twisting.”

So how do you give? How does your congregation give? Does it reflect a station that “above above all else” you’re able to both prosper AND be in health even as your souls prosper? Or does it reflect the the snowball effect that a body in neglect offers a seed of regret? The choice is up to you.

 

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