Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Rethink Generosity: Myth 2 - "Giving Time and Talent is Enough"

This is part two of a three-part series called “Rethinking Generosity: Busting the church’s money myths.

Myth #2: “Giving time and talent is enough.”

So, how many weddings have you attended in which the happy couple stands in front of family and friends and vows before God to give themselves to one another in covenant wedded bliss for ever and ever amen … and then they list a disclaimer?

“I promise my life to you, darling. Well, you know, except for all the chocolate cake, I’m keeping that all for myself. Well, I may let you see it every now and then, even have a little nibble. Say, somewhere in the five to seven percent range, maybe. Definitely not more than ten.”

Absurd, right? A marriage is all in, 100% of everything, mutual love and respect and support.

So why is it, in our relationship with God, which should be even more important, that we think there is an exception clause regarding our money?

I have heard it throughout my ministry. People will say, “I give my time, I give my talent, I’m here serving. So that’s enough. I don’t have to give financially. I’m ‘covered.’”

What if the Samaritan had said that? “Hey dude, I stopped to help. I bandaged his wounds. But pay for his continued care? Now you’re talking crazy. It’s MY money, and I want it now!”

That would have been a-whole-nother parable.

But that’s NOT how Jesus told the story. Not only did the Samaritan give time (stopping at the side of the road) and talent (binding the wounds), he also gave money to the innkeeper to provide for ongoing care for the wounded man. To be a neighbor, the Samaritan had to be “all in.”

Theologically speaking, the new life that is offered to us in Christ Jesus requires a complete transformation that impacts every part of one’s life. “Everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new.” Not “some things.” Not “most things.” EVERY thing.

And everything includes your time. Your talent. And your money. Yes, even your chocolate cake.

Myth #2 = Busted.

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