“Why We Give”
Today, I received an email from our UMC denomination’s Communications office. They want to put my statement in the quotation in the booklet called “Why We Give.”
“I give because I cannot waste any penny that I have earned with so much blood and sweat. I want my money used in the best way for the best cause.” That is the statement that I put in the booklet. I have to share a story behind that statement.
Once, I visited my church member’s dry cleaner. It was a hot summer day. He was sweating and working hard in the hot small room. He complained about his life and grumbled against our church. Then he started talking about offering. He would give every week one dollar to God but not more than that! He said that he would earn 1 cent by cleaning one shirt! So, to give one hundred dollars to our church during the offering time, he had to wash and press one thousand shirts! Then he turned to me and stared at my eyes, asking, “Pastor! Do you think that I still have to give one hundred dollars to God every week?”
Without blinking my eyes, I said right away. “Sure!” Then I said the statement that they want to quote: “I give because I cannot waste any penny that I have earned with so much blood and sweat. I want my money used in the best way for the best cause.” I went on to say to him, “You know, if I have to sweat like you working hard on this summer day, I would not use the money that I earned for drinking. I would not spend the money for my own pleasure. I would not use the money for trivial things in life. I would use it only for things that have eternal and precious value. Because the money you earn is like your blood. You would not want to waste them. You would not want to use them for just for fun! I would give them only to God and use them only for holy and noble cause! It is so precious and worthy! It is like your life!”
He was speechless. He became thoughtful. Then the next Sunday he gave his precious one hundred dollar bill in the offering plate. He understood the value of his money that he earned with his sweat and blood. Now he know what should come first and what comes next. I pray that we all can grasp the simple truth and give generously to God. Let us live for something that has eternal value.