Many people think of God’s money as the 10% that goes into the church offering plate. The other 90% is theirs. Some may think that the time they serve in the church nursery on Sunday morning is their service to God, and the other time in the week is theirs.
A crucial turning point in stewardship is for us to realize that 100% of our resources belong to God, not just the 10%. Every decision on how to use our money, talents, or time becomes a spiritual decision.
In our time stewardship, we begin to understand the concept of vocation: the amazing fact that we can bring glory to God in our callings. Whatever we do, we can do to the glory of God. Cleaning the dishes on a Tuesday night can bring God as much glory as church on Sunday morning.
But I think it’s possible to lose perspective. We can distort the doctrine of vocation, treating it as a license to use our time for selfish reasons.
We cut back on our service at church – because after all, we can bring glory to God in other ways, right? We spend less time ministering to others – because after all, we bring glory to God in all that we do, right?
It’s great for us to realize that God exists outside of the walls of the church and that there are ways to serve and glorify him in all areas of our life. But that shouldn’t give us a license to treat the church as unimportant. That’s shouldn’t allow us to justify passivity towards the aims and goals of his body.
Serving at church isn’t the only way to glorify God. But does that mean we should ignore the church?
“Will man rob God? Yet you are robbing me. But you say, ‘How have we robbed you?’ In your tithes and contributions. You are cursed with a curse, for you are robbing me, the whole nation of you. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”
I’m not going to say that giving 10% of your time to the church is necessary. But I do think that God has called most of us to serve in some capacity in the local church.
Have we let our service in the areas of our career and family crowd out serving in the local church? Are we so amazed by how we can bring glory to God elsewhere that we’ve neglected the “normal, boring” area of serving in our local church?
I believe that this distorted view of vocation can lead to us robbing God, as Malachi puts it. Yes, our time should be spent glorifying God 100% in all that we do – and it’s amazing the ways we can bring him glory. But I still believe that a significant portion of our time and energy should be spent in service to the local body.
Service to the local church shouldn’t be an add-on when our time permits. It should be one of the central pillars that our time management is built upon.
Are you truly bringing glory to God in the way that you serve in your local church? Do you feel the call to serve more or to serve in a different way?
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