When the collection basket passes you by at church, what are you thinking? The reality is that your spiritual health is tied into what you think and what you do with your money. People like to say that stewardship doesn’t have to do with money, but the reality is that money is such a strong force in our lives, if we relegate it to something outside of our spiritual journey, it has the potential to sneak up on us and take control before we know it. In marriage, money is the source of most arguments and stress between spouses. The majority of big lottery winners find their lives in shambles just a few years after they cashed in the winning ticket. Credit card debt is a primary obstacle for many in trying to buy a house, car, or other primary item needed for basic living.
Jesus said, “No servant can serve two masters… You cannot serve both God and mammon [wealth or riches].” I heard a long time ago the P. T. Barnum quote, “Money is a terrible master but an excellent servant.” The truth is that unless we exercise true dominion over our money and allow it to serve God’s purpose, then we run the risk of waking up one day being enslaved by it. This does not only apply to what we give away to our parish, our community, or to charity. It applies to the money we use for shelter, food, and clothing. It applies to every dollar in our wallet and bank account. For it ALL belongs to God.
When the next offertory comes upon you, think before that basket passes you by. Place your offering into the basket first with gratitude toward God for that gift. Then, may your offering remind you of who is the real Master. May you allow your Master to lead you in all things.