by Bob Schaefer

Now that we are about to enter the “Stewardship season” of the church year, I would like to say a few words on that subject. This used to be a very troubling time for me – how much should I pledge? How much can I afford to pledge? Different people approach these questions in different ways. People also have different motives for giving.

I think there are three basic motives:

First, we may give out of a sense of guilt and compulsion.
This is “I have to give or I’ll feel like a low-down skunk if I don’t. Man, I wish my conscience would leave me alone so I wouldn’t feel compelled to give.” To give grudgingly and under compulsion is giving with a partially open hand, closed heart and clenched teeth. It is giving with annoyance at having to give. It is giving and hating it.

Second, we may give because we see needs and want to help.
We see needs all around us. People are unemployed, people don’t have adequate food, and even more importantly, people need the Lord. When we see a genuine need, and when we have the resources to alleviate that need, that ought to motivate us to give. This kind of giving, “I want to help” giving, goes a long way towards causing us to give and feel good about it.

Third, we may give so God is praised and thanked.
This reminds us that all our blessings come from God and it turns our hearts to God in gratitude, worship and praise. This kind of giving, “I want to thank God” giving, helps us to give and feel good about it.

So, what is your motive?

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Grace’s stewardship committee will be presenting a series of special guest speakers and mailings throughout the month to help us focus on the importance of giving. Please consider your blessings and show your gratitude by making a financial pledge to our church for the year ahead. Our pledge ingathering will be Sunday, Nov. 2.


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