To Tithe Or Too Tight?
~ Oswald Chambers
“But I’m sick Ma’am,” uttered an inmate worker during an unexpected sick call request. He usually worked 12 hours in the kitchen, preparing foods. Just like others. He thought I would give him a chrono [medical note] for a few days “off-work” status.
“Sorry Sir,” I softly replied. “I heard your physical complaints but I couldn’t find any physical symptoms that would back up your claims. I am not ignoring your request. But how can I put you off of work when all of your vital signs are normal? You’ve been saying you have a cold. But your tonsils and throat are fine. There are no redness.” And the other symptoms I didn’t elaborate explaining. Knowing that they could potentially mimic those symptoms and fake their illness more.
Working for 10 years now in the prison, I have learned the inmate workers’ tactics of pretending to be sick. So they don’t have to work. They don’t want to work. At least, some of them. But not all of them. They are not willing to give their best to learn something that will make them proud. Or make them change their behavior as a result of doing a hard work. So, I have been careful to give “off-work” status.
When it comes to giving, lots of Christians struggle when it comes to “tithing”. While some churches over-emphasize it, others do not want to listen to the biblical exhortations about making this special offering for the Lord.
We are to give as we are able. It may mean giving more or giving less than the 10% we know of. Each one of us should seek the Lord for His wisdom as we participate in tithing or how much to give. [James 1:5 -”If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.”]
Offerings should be given with pure motives and with an attitude of worship to God and as service to the body of Christ. “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” - 2 Corinthians 9:7
So…question is…are you willing to tithe or you’re too tight?
What the people were thinking during offering in a church:
1st man: “Hmm…10% of $455=$45 & 50 cents. But I only have $46 in cash. I wonder if I could take my change in the basket.”
Lady in blue: “God, You’ve been so good to me. Thank You for Your provision in my life.”
Lady in red: “Where does all this money go? Shouldn’t the pastors know that we need softer toilet paper in the bathroom? I think that instead of giving money this week, I’ll buy the toilet paper that I like and give it to the church.”
Woman in black [after the girl]: “Lord, You know my needs. I give this in faith. Please cover my debts and make my car lasts a long time.”
Man with striped tie: “Since I sent my money to that television evangelist this week, I’ll count that as my tithe.”
Girl in pink top: “Lord gave me a dollar and I got to put it in!... Why do we do that anyway?”
Man with brown tie: “As soon as I get out of debt, I’ll start tithing.”
Woman in blue top: “10%? Where does that come from? What happens if I only get 5%? No way! That’s too high!”
Old man in pink shirt: “God, I know You see how much money I’ll give. I hope this pastor will appreciate it.”
Woman in black & white top: “Okay God! You know I’m giving more than the usual 10% this week. So, next week, I’m keeping it all.”
Man in blue shirt: “I cleaned the sanctuary this week. That’s worth about $50. What do you know? That’s 10% of what I make. I’m covered.”
Please visit Spiritual Sundays for other encouraging posts. It is always great to reflect on His love and to see what He is doing in each of His children's hearts. God bless you all.
The Attacker (5/15/09)
The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies.
Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.
Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.
All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.
When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.
The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.
When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.
[Source: Life Application Bible]:
We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.
“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14
Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].
Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.
Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.
Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].