Handling Money; February 20, 2020

2 Corinthians 8:21 For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men.

In various places the Bible talks about not fearing people and their opinions, but this would seem to be an exception. It’s not a matter of fear, but rather avoiding any opportunity for accusation. These people were to be involved in handling money, specifically, other people’s offerings, and Paul was very rightly concerned that everything be aboveboard. As Jesus said, we are not of the world, but we are still in the world. (John 17:14-18) Not every rule and expectation of the world is wrong! Particularly when it comes to money, we are very prone to temptation in various ways, so there are social rules and even laws about how we handle it. The Church should not be more lax than society in general here. We have more reason to trust each other, but there are inadvertent errors that should be guarded against, and no one is immune to temptation. Anytime there is a scandal of any sort in the Church, the devil uses it to try to discredit the whole thing, and we are not to give him any opportunity to do that.

This is very close to home for me, because right now I am dealing with the church finances because of the simple fact that we don’t have anyone else to do it at this point. I am as careful as possible, but not only is it something I would rather not deal with, it lays us open to potential suspicion. Over the years we have had several church treasurers leave the church because of the stress of the position. People don’t deal well with trusting God for finances! Part of the problem may be that I am the biggest single donor to the church, since we don’t have many households to be agreed on tithing. One very earnest treasurer, whose husband is not a believer, said to me, “We couldn’t survive if you weren’t paying rent to the church every month.” I said that I was aware of that, but it didn’t bother me. It obviously bothered her, and she ended up leaving the church. I would be thrilled if the Lord brought several tithing families into the church, as well as someone with the time and the ability to be treasurer, but in the mean time I am to be scrupulously honest and faithful, trusting God to supply what we need, when and how we need it.

Father, this isn’t something I think about very often. Thank You for meeting our every need. I pray that I would place no stumbling blocks in anyone’s way, but would be pure and honest before you, before the people around me, and before the law, for Your glory. Thank You. Praise God!

About jgarrott

Born and raised in Japan of missionary parents. Have been here as an adult missionary since 1981.
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