“Now concerning the collection for the saints: you should follow the directions I gave to the churches of Galatia. On the first day of every week, each of you is to put aside and save whatever extra you earn, so that collections need not be tak-en when I come.” (1 Corinthians 16:1-2) Give with consistent gratitude • Give to God first Give with con-sistent sacrifice • Give with consistent praise Paul was clearly a believer in consistency. He encouraged the Corinthians to donate regularly on the Sabbath to store up funds for relief of their poor brothers and sisters in Jerusalem. We still collect donations in our churches on a weekly basis on the Sabbath (although some of us give biweekly, monthly or even annually). We also set aside time in each worship service to ex-press our gratitude to God and to praise God for the many blessings God gives us (for which gratitude our gifts are a token). This we do consistently. Not during a season of thankfulness or holiday of praise, but every week. Many consistently put God first as well: giving to God before taking anything for themselves. One faithful son of our congregation gives an annual gift at year-end. I surmise this is from a bonus he receives and he gives the church a tithe from it. Moreover, we give with consistent sacrifice. If the gift means nothing to you, then it means nothing to God. Conversely, the greater the cost the greater the gift. This does not necessarily mean the size of the gift in dollars, but rather the labor that went into earning it, the needs forgone that allowed it to be given, and the recognition that others’ needs are as important as our own. May we all pray to be consistent in our faithfulness!
Jim Wells, Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation