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It’s the end of January…. if you are involved in Human Resources or Finance of any kind, the questions begin…. “Do you have our W-2’s yet?” Whether you are on the receiving end of that question or the one asking it, this time of year becomes all about the numbers as we begin to gather documents (W-2 forms especially!) and prepare for tax time. We essentially sum up the previous year in the context of how much did we make, how much did we give, and how much do we (hopefully!) get back.
But have you ever stopped to think about that W-2 form as the sum of the blessings it represents? Do you consider the vacations with family, house payments, lunches with friends, groceries in our cabinets, etc that were possible? Consider the same questions in regard to your contribution statement. What do those numbers represent? How blessed we are that even when we give out of our blessings, we receive yet another blessing at tax time!
When I was growing up, we had offering envelopes. Mom raised my brother and me to look at tithing as part of our worship. Dropping the envelope in the plate as it was passed made us pause and think about what we were doing and what it meant. And the fact that our offering was placed in an envelope made it personal – just between us and God.
Here are a few scriptures to remember when considering the act of giving as an act of worship:
2 Chronicles 29:12-14: “Wealth and honor come from You; You are the ruler of all things. In Your hands are strength and power to exalt and give strength to all. Now, our God, we give You thanks, and praise Your glorious name. But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from You, and we have given You only what comes from Your hand.”
Hebrews 13:15-16: “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess His name. And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
Today, as we know from the ever-present offering announcement each Sunday, there are a multitude of ways to give. And although it might be easy to ignore the announcement as the same one you hear each Sunday, please do not shut out the meaning behind those boxes. Regardless of how you give, whether online or through your bank or in the box, take a minute to make acknowledgement and appreciation part of your worship. If that means physically stopping at the box to whisper a “Thank You, Lord”, then do it! And when you are preparing your tax documents this year, take a minute to pause over those W-2 forms and contribution statements, and thank Him.
The offering boxes are by the door...
Written by Michelle Bayles