“Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen by them. Otherwise, you have no reward from your Father in heaven. Therefore, when you do a charitable deed, do not sound a trumpet before you as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory from men. Assuredly, I say to you, they have their reward. But when you do a charitable deed, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, that your charitable deed may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will Himself reward you openly.” Matthew 6: 1-4
This passage has always helped Stewards reflect on the subject of how much of our Time, Talents, and Treasures to offer to the Church in Thanksgiving for God’s love. We know how much God loves us. How much do we love Him? Are we living every minute of our lives in a manner which reflects His teachings and our appreciation for His blessings?
Consider these points as you review your Stewardship commitment:
- The amount you commit is between you and God. Through prayer each of us must reflect on the words in Proverbs 3: 9, “Honor the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce”
- Completing and returning a Commitment Card is a way for you and your family to show your love for God and for the work being done at your Church to glorify His name in this parish. With the Ecclesiastical New Year in September, start considering your commitment for 2017 now.
- We will keep our Stewards informed of all Church business, including regular financial updates. This information should not become the basis upon which we decide how much, “to give to the Church.” This decision must come from our individual and prayerful reflection upon our own thoughts about the many gifts God has given us.
- Publicizing averages or minimums is not a thoughtful practice as we always must remember that our gifts from God come in many different forms. Some will give more and some will give less, but this should always be the result of decisions based upon prayer and reflection of God’s gifts and blessings. Our focus is upon Equal Sacrifice not Equal Giving.
Developing the spirit of humility suggested in Matthew 6 will go a long way towards helping us fully implement Stewardship. Change is not easy, but believing the word of God requires that we challenge ourselves to live lives that reflect what we profess to believe. God will give us the strength if we will only trust in His teachings and in His love.