Last week I received a letter informing me that a charity I support would be increasing its monthly sponsorship by $6. Immediately I got on the Internet to research this charities financial ratings and reviews, wondering if something fishy was going on. Then it hit me, due to the recent front page articles about the United Way and David Cerullo’s ministry in South Carolina, is it not harder to trust that our giving is being effectively used?
Tithing and giving to the church, while similar to charitable support, is also radically different. Tithing is not just about providing financial support to the institution of the church, but it is also a spiritual discipline of letting go of a prized possession we work so hard to earn and to trust that it be used for God’s mission.
One of biggest complaints for young adults regarding the Church is its emphasis upon money. Yet I strongly believe that if we looked at our bank statements and our day planners we can see where our priorities lay, and therefore the church has a responsibility to talk about money. We will only give our time and our money to things that we trust will provide a strong return on investment for us.
But as Paul says in Romans 12:1, “Therefore, I urge you brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy—present your entire selves as living sacrifices, pure and holy. This is your spiritual act of worship.” It is through the offering of our whole selves—our work, finances, dreams, desires, hurts, friends, family, everything—to God that we worship Him.
What is it about the church’s mention of “money” that may irritate so many young adults? What prized possessions do we not want to trust God with?