Send me a twenty and you’ll be rich

Shouldn’t you be a little wary of anyone who makes that claim? A friend visited another church recently and after, she was unsettled. They emphasized something to the effect “live generously and you will be blessed.”

I actually have no problem with that doctrine. Living generously is a valuable principle for believers and unbelievers alike. I think her issue was the heart of their implication, “If you specifically give to me right now, you will specifically receive more money in your current bank account.” Most of her sermon notes* had phrases that could technically be backed up by scripture, and by example…if you live in America.

My friend’s nagging question: “Do Christian’s never starve to death?” It’s a good thought, and at the root might be one reason Saeed’s continued imprisonment frustrates and even baffles.

I’m pretty sure Christians bleed, starve and freeze like the rest of humanity. But in faith, I reconcile  that with the fact: God has promised to provide for all my needs — and even give me my desires.

What happens when 10 Christians all enter the same contest and pray fervently to win? Someone’s not going to get the desire of their heart. Actually nine someones.

But we have so much abundance it’s easy to claim our blessings are a direct result of our religiousness. And even though it is hardly the only reason to give, the verses I use to encourage myself to tithe tell me “I’m gonna get more if give.”

Or do they? Is it possible that the blessings promised to rain down on us could be less tangible than dollars, marks and yen? After all, can your storehouses contain contentment, peace…joy? My pastor seemed to think so last Sunday:

*Sermon is a strong word because she said: while they spent 98 percent of the time exclaiming that they loved God’s word, they only spent about two percent of the time reading it.