The one reason to withhold our giving
One of my favorite books growing up was Anne of Green Gables.
When my girls were little CBC came up with a wonderful mini-series
based on it.
There is a scene in the beginning where Marilla is trying to get Anne
to say her prayers. Anne says, "Someone once told me that God made my
hair red on purpose, and I've never cared for Him since."
An honest girl, and the only good reason I can think of for
withholding our prayers and praise and our giving.
A rumor has it that in a local congregation people are withholding
their pledges as a vote of no confidence against the pastor. And
individuals and even congregations have been withholding their giving
to synods because of political reasons. It has been going on for a
long time in one place or another. I must admit that there have been
times when I considered giving less because I didn't like how a
particular church spent its money.
But in truth, as far as I can see the only good reason to stop giving
or pledging is a vote of no confidence in God. As long as God is God,
we should continue to give.
If you don't like the politics, get involved. If you don't like the
pastor, figure out how better to work together, if possible. If you
don't like how the money is spent, be a part of the team that makes
those decisions. And as a worst-case scenario, find another place to
worship where you can, in good conscience, give back God's money. It
is God's money.
For God has indeed been good to us. Every day, God gives us sun and
moon and water and food and friends and family and a place to worship.
And God has sent God's Son to reconcile us to God and to be sure we
know of the unfailing love poured out for us. God deserves our praise
and our offering.
I once came across something entitled, "The top 10 reasons I don't
tithe." I have been trying to find it again. But the only real reason
not to tithe is that, like Anne of Green Gables, you don't care for
Lord, Give us faith to know that you can work
through all of us fallible and sinful people. Give us faith to know
that you are still there in the midst of us and then give us faith to
share what we have been given. Amen
2005, The Rev. Dana Reardon. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Email her at
The Rev. Dana Reardon is pastor at St.
Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church, Warwick, RI. A lifelong Lutheran, she
came to ordained ministry after 21 years in nursing, mostly in pediatric
intensive care. She graduated from Lutheran Theological Seminary at
Philadelphia in 1998 and served 4 ½ years in Upstate New York before
becoming a New Englander. She is still trying to understand the
accent. While in the Upstate New York Synod she chaired the Stewardship
Team. That began her fascination with what makes stewards -- and more,
what makes for generosity.
has three amazing daughters: Pastor Reardon says much of what she knows of
life she learned from them.