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What Would Our Tax Preparer Say?

By Chris Harris

 

A mentor of mine once said, if you want to know if God is a priority in your life, check your bank account.

That’s right.  Your bank account.

Not how often you attend services.  Not which committees we serve on.  Not how many classes you sign up for or even how often you pray.  Nope.  For him, the ultimate barometer of one’s faith was our checkbook!  

His point was to make real Jesus’ oft-quoted reminder from the Gospel of Matthew, “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”  For him, our giving was the real place where the rubber hits the road of our faith.  

What would our money say about our love and trust in God?  

This past Sunday, we heard the story of Zacchaeus the tax collector who wanted to realign his life by realigning how he uses his money. And it made me wonder: What might our own tax preparer say about how we have aligned our life? As he or she reviews our bank statements for the year and tabulates how we spend our money, what might they conclude about our faith? What would they say about our priorities? Does our giving reflect our standard of living? Or is God more of an afterthought? Has our faith penetrated our money life?  

That’s why giving is at its heart a spiritual practice that can increase your faith. If you want to move your heart toward God, your giving can lead the way. Here are some things you might try, to help make your pledge move your heart toward God:

  • Start with prayer.  The most important, and most frequently overlooked step in giving. Start by taking the time to ask for God’s help to guide you in this decision.     
  • Count the blessings in your life. Begin by thanking God for the many blessings of your life; big and small, seen and unseen and let your pledge be an outward and visible sign of that gratitude.    
  • Ask why Christ Church Cranbrook is special to you? Each of us have come to call this our spiritual home for different reasons. How do we help you find space for grace in your life? Here are some recent reflections from others.
  • Expand the reach of God’s love! Your annual pledge powers all of the services, programs and ministries which help and support countless people — many of whom we might never meet. How can your pledge help us love and serve our community and those beyond our walls?   
  • Does your pledge reflect your priorities?  Jesus says “Where your treasure is, there will your heart be also” so if you want to make God a priority in your life, try making God a higher priority in your giving.  
  • Consider giving a percentage of your income. The Christian standard for giving is 10% or a ‘tithe.’ If that feels out of reach compared to what you are accustomed to, try 5% and then see if you can increase it a percentage each year until you are tithing. By giving from what we receive, rather than from what’s left over, we keep God as a priority in our life.  

 

We invite everyone who considers Christ Church Cranbrook your spiritual home to consider making a pledge to support our mission and ministry in 2023. For more information or to make your pledge online, click here. For questions, please get in touch with Rev. Chris Harris at charris@christchurchcranbrook.org.


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