What's in a word?
I have come across different people in my service to the body who have opinions that are interesting. Some felt that a certain verbiage had to be said at someone’s baptism or, well it just might not take. I was visiting someplace once and at the beginning of the class the instructor started off by railing on a particular translation of the Bible. It happened to be the one I was using and I assume a lot of others were, because when he asked for volunteers to read, there was silence. And we don’t even need to get into the different opinions as to what and how we do Sunday mornings. We all do have our opinions.
There was one individual who had a opinion about a part of Sunday mornings and while I did not feel as strongly, I did see his point. Now, this is usually an opinion about the Lord’s Supper. Or is it Communion? Or Breaking Bread? No, it wasn’t about that aspect of Sunday mornings. It was dealing with something that is usually “separate and apart” from that, though done in connection with it because of convenience. Yes, the particular aspect we were discussing was the contribution.
Now, the problem wasn’t that we collected: We both felt very strongly that there should be a collection. The problem wasn’t when we did it or how we did it. It wasn’t the message spoken to encourage us to give, or even setting it apart at the beginning of every week. It was with one word. Not contribution, but giving. He felt giving wasn’t the proper word we should use and thought bringing back to God was more appropriate. He said the money wasn’t really ours to give to God. He had already given it to us and we were just bringing it back. His feelings about this were very strong. Though I have no problem with the word giving, I did get the point he was making. I also see the problem he felt it caused with the collection we take up each week.
We have a tendency to become attached to what we have earned. And why not? “I get up in the morning and go to work to earn what I have.” “I put in long hours to accumulate what I have.” “ I make wise decisions to make sure I don’t squander what I have.” “I am not a slacker, I put a lot of effort into what I have.” I think you see the point here, it is the “I” along with the “have.” We also think in terms of what we have, as items we can give. They are ours after all, and we can give them to whomever we want. How nice of us to give something to God!
Perhaps having the mindset that we aren’t giving OUR money to God, but just bringing back some of HIS money back to Him would keep our perspective right. Maybe instead of deciding each week, “How much of my money am I going to give to God?”, we should look at it as, “How much of God’s money am I going to keep for myself?” It would definitely remind us of where our financial blessings come from. . .and who we are devoting them to.