Giving Hope: Giving Our Gifts
When Meaghan and I transferred our membership to our first United Methodist congregation after we got married, we committed to faithfully participate in its ministries by “our Prayers, our Presence, our Gifts and our Service.” (“Our Witness” came to be added later for those checking my work.) This commitment was not limited to just one, but rather to all these acts.
In the early years it was easy to Pray, it was easy to be Present and it was easy to Serve. However as a young married couple it was also easy to justify not participating with our Gifts and come up with many excuses like…“someone with more income/money can do that”; “we are just two people in the congregation so why does it matter”; or “we are doing the other three, that is 75% right?” Fortunately, through prayer and discussions, Meaghan and I committed to tithing to the Church from the beginning. It was important to us that we fully commit to what we agreed to as members of the Church body.
I would be a liar if I told you we started at 15% or even at 10% of our income; however, we started. We recognized the importance to each other and to our collective and individual Faiths that we appreciate the gifts God has given to us, and give to the Church in a way that the Church can provide those gifts to others. It was not always easy, however we were confident in our hearts with every dollar that we gave that we were doing what we were
called to do.
In Paul’s letter to the Corinthians (2 Corinthians 9:7), Paul reminds us of not only the importance of giving, but also the importance of how we give. “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” It may not always be easy, however we must always give what is in our hearts to give.
Meaghan and I feel very fortunate to have called Laurel Heights our Church home for the past five years. When we give to Laurel Heights, we are giving to God’s body at work that provides hope to us and countless others
through its ministries. I am very proud of the ministries of hope that Laurel Heights provides to so many, and thankful that our dollars can be used in such effective ways.