"Wealth will increasingly be defined by our ability to go offline whenever we want." - Fernando Gros
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Blog // Thoughts
November 13, 2006

Giving: Guilt or Gratitude?

I’ve been having a number of thoughts about the issue of fear and guilt in the church and also on questions about giving and generosity. However, these past weeks I’ve struggled to turn drafts into solid thoughts. But thankfully, Mary at Tensegrities has linked to a very good sermon (looking at Mark 12:38-44) over at […]

I’ve been having a number of thoughts about the issue of fear and guilt in the church and also on questions about giving and generosity. However, these past weeks I’ve struggled to turn drafts into solid thoughts.

But thankfully, Mary at Tensegrities has linked to a very good sermon (looking at Mark 12:38-44) over at Telling Secrets on some of the issues I’ve been pondering. A few thoughts from the sermon really stood out,

“We‚Äôd much rather argue about sexuality than talk about money. In fact, I‚Äôm convinced that‚Äôs precisely why we argue about sexuality. As long as we keep that conversation going, we never have to talk about money. Or, for that matter, mission and ministry. It‚Äôs like the old story about why airplane food is so bad. It gives you something to complain about so you never have to get down to the real issues, like safety or competence, or . . . . well, you get the message.”

“When your heart is that filled with gratitude, the first thing that happens is that it drives you to your knees in a prayer of thanksgiving. Then, you find yourself up on your feet with an unquenchable desire to do something. To make a difference. To give back. To contribute. In any way you can. And, in that moment, you experience The Holy. Jesus is fully present”

“You‚Äôve heard the old Stewardship Slogan, ‚ÄúGive till it hurts?‚Äù I want to put a new spin on that and say, ‚ÄúGive till it feels good.‚Äù”

[tags] Stewardship, Giving [/tags]

Responses
Toni 16 years ago

There are several issues here.

People often talk about ‘sacrificial giving’ as though people have given something up to be able to give that much. Sometimes they have, but normally I give out of my surplus.

Jesus had certain things to say about wealth and difficulty. It’s not easy to have enough and to spare and retain an ‘attitude of gratitude’.

I’d suggest the ‘sexuality over money’ argument is a mostly US issue. Mostly because America seems to have a fascination with sexuality that insists on poking, prodding and turning it over and over again instead of just moving on. But also because wealth is challenging in a biblical context and as a nation, the culture appears to be based around what you can buy.

Gross oversimplification, but hey, my head’s fuzzy right now.

Fernando Gros 16 years ago

Toni – I agree about the Sexuality issue up to a point, but I think Evangelicals around the world are also sometimes guilty of the same thing.

Certainly I share your view on sacrificial giving.

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