I may need some additional opinions on this one, y’all. I’m not sure what I think.
In the body of Christ, we all have different spiritual gifts that are made to serve the Lord. Some people teach, others lead worship, or prayer, or contribute music or artistic talents; some serve, some give of money. In various churches I have been to, I have noticed the trend to give of material gifts, which sometimes feels more important than other forms of stewardship.
Now, I know that it is good tongive because giving helps the Church accomplish it’s various missions, most of which are directly philanthropic. Does anyone else feel that at least in principle, stressing monetary gifts over other sorts of gifts isn’t being true to the Holy Spirit? I know that God can do whatever he wants, but he gives all sorts of gifts for a variety of reasons. Surely he wants us to use what we have for his glory (Colossians 3:17), else he wouldn’t have endowed mankind with such a host of gifts. Why then do churches and body of Christ affiliated organizations place such emphasis on donations? Yes, money makes the world go round, but not all service on the eyes of God requires money. Some service can be more consistently in how you live your life and whether you make time for acts of service to others in your daily routine.
Which is funny, since there is no medal for submission in faith to make your life look more like Christ’s. No one thanks you for the very little things; you recieve no formal credit for that except peace of mind. Does labeling different ways to serve exclude the unique ways God has called each of us?
Maybe. I believe it is more like the spirit of Jesus to assemble your life to look like his through faith than to fill a role. Roles are empty but steadfast compassion is life giving. I say this knowing that I for one have a lot further to walk in learning what a holy lifestyle looks like. I just get the feeling serving isn’t meant to be as stoic and two dimensional as another sort of job. In acts of mercy, we are called to be “cheerful”, and in service, “in serving” (Romans 12:7-8). To me, that implies that the ways we serve should be enough for us (outside of our own glory), and that they should be spiritually endowed and blessed through joy and steadfast faith (via the Holy Spirit). How else could someone be merciful in cheerfulness without the Holy Spirit? Our works are not a role.
Furthermore, Churches throughout the world are different. It’s just my opinion, but some churches excel at different aspects of service than others, and each church is a defined in function like a part of one’s physical body working under the same spirit. That makes sense, and those differencea can be both divisive and helpful when called to work in harmony.
And once again, it’s just my opinion, but I believe that in whatever gifts God has given us, he simply asks that we use them for his glory. Whether our churches are currently strong in one area or another, we should be capable of encouraging one another’s gifts. The joy that comes from being thankful while you are able to serve is easier said than accomplished, but I believe that steadfast love is a lifestyle choice that makes genuine service possible. You have to give more of your heart than money to be able to serve steadfastly.