Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Could giving be self-centered?

I heard something on the radio the other day that made me stop and think. Pastor Chris Brown, on his True Stewardship Show (hosted by Dave Ramsey), was talking about the difference between giving and returning.

In the church, we talk about giving to God - our time, our talent and of course, our money. Pastor Brown was explaining that while it's a nice concept, it's pretty self-centered! When we decide what we give to God, the focus is on us. What I am giving to God. How I am blessing God. If I am being used by God. Now flip that and think about this: All we have has been given to us by God. Yes, we may earn a living by working, but who gave us that job? Who gave us the mind and the skill to do that job? God, of course. So, it makes sense that we give back - or return to Him what He gave us.

When we acknowledge it's all His, the focus shifts from us to Him. We realize that we are stewards, someone who manages someone else's property, in this case, God's.
"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms." 1 Peter 4:10
In his autobiography, George Muller, a true steward of God, said this:
"In whatever way God makes us stewards, whether in temporal or spiritual things, if we act as stewards and not as owners, He will make us stewards over more."
"Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies." 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 

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