Thinking Out Loud On A Monday

I just wanted to share a few thoughts that have been going through my mind since early this morning.  Our church secretary took our weekly contribution to the bank to make our deposit as usual.  However, one of the tellers told her that our deposit slip was incorrect by $10.00.  She explained that the reason for the discrepancy was because someone had placed a $10.00 bill in the collection plate that had been torn in half, and the bank couldn’t accept it.  The teller went on to explain that because of the amount of the $10.00 bill that was missing, the money could not be spent.

Now, I know that whoever gave this torn-more-than-in-half $10.00 bill may not have known that.  I understand that possibility, and therefore am not going to charge anyone with intentionally doing wrong.  That gets me to the point where I’m just “thinking out loud.”  “What if…?”  What if someone dropped money in the collection plate to pass along a problem to someone else.  What if someone gave to God what was useless to them, while at the same time feeling justified in their own mind in that they “contributed” to the cause of Christ?

Again, while I will never know the answer to that question, I can say with assurance that it wouldn’t be the first time it happened.  Consider the words of God… “Where is my reverence?…You offer defiled food on my altar, but say ‘in what way have we defiled you?’…And when you offer the blind as a sacrifice, is it not evil?  And when you offer the lame and sick, is it not evil?  Offer it then to your governor!  Would he be pleased with you?  Would he accept you favorably?…But cursed be the deceiver who has in his flock a male, and takes a vow, but sacrifices to the Lord what is blemished.” (Malachi 1:6,8,14).

While I was “thinking aloud” today, I also couldn’t help but think of how many people assembled to worship God yesterday, but who will not be seen again until Christmas.  Grant it, I am thankful for the opportunity to speak to and with so many people.  They are where they need to be.  But at the same time, I can’t help but wonder how many people think assembling on “Easter” and “Christmas” fulfills their obligation and is acceptable to God. 

As I think out loud today, I am reminded that God is not mocked, and that he is not pleased with our “lame” sacrifices and our uncommitted service.  God deserves more than a $10.00 bill that cannot be spent and two Sunday mornings a year.

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Comments 2

  • I too think out loud. Sometimes on Monday too. You know I have always been perplexed about this same issue. Then I realized if I really wanted to do something about it I would have to understand why people thought and behaved the way they did. Only reality I now accept is that people, especially people in church no longer do things just because they are supposed to. They are not justifying themselves it is rather social religion than a deep spiritual relationship with God. Most of the teaching over the past 50 years in protestant Christianity cofC included has been driven by establishing and meeting requirements. Requirements for salvation for doctrine for attendance, giving etc. There is not one area in the church of Christ that some requirement has not been laid out whether it is 10% in contribution or the steps or rituals to complete in order to be saved. Well many have simply given up on meeting all requirements because there was little meaning in their life beyond “punching a card” or fulfilling a requirement. Most of the contribution now days goes to pat for two things a building and it’s utilities and a ministers salary. Only a small portion in used for things such as feeding the hungry helping the poor or sick or visiting those in prison and so on. Until these requirements take on new and greater meaning within our lives there is no amount of judging or preaching or coercing that will change people’s behaviors. Just some thoughts. This is what I have learned.

  • Good post. I understand what the other reply was trying to say. I think this situation is typical. There has always been a percentage of people like those you have described. I think that your thinking out loud has been felt by those who have procalimed God’s will since time began. Something so clear, yet to a portion of the masses unreachable and never understood. Then I myself wonder if I am missing something myself in the same way, and pray that God helps me to see it.

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