Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Moderator’s Musings

by Blaine Miner

Early on in my vocational path, I was a counselor for those individuals who experienced problems with drugs and alcohol. The path eventually led me to be a chaplain, first at a state mental health center, then serving as a chaplain in one state-run juvenile prison, and finally three prisons for men. During that time, I was able to know the difference when a client was genuine about their goals. There was a subtle difference in their tone when they were speaking about what they thought I wanted to hear and what they were going to accomplish.

 I have been around individuals in my role as counselor, chaplain and pastor who due to pride do not want to accept charity/aid. Part of this feeling comes from their self-esteem and their self-perception. To accept aid means admitting failure in their ability to be self-sufficient.

I wonder if in our rush to be helpful and in our desire to provide assistance, if we trample over the feelings of those we want to help. Are our reasons for extending charity honest? Because of our many resources which we wish to share, have we developed an attitude of superiority? Have we developed the thought that we are better because we have, and you do not?

Donating to a charity is easy. We can write a check, take items to a pantry, or clothing to a shelter. Taking the time to get to know recipients of our charity takes time and energy. In our rushed society, we look for the expedient and efficient way of completing the task.

What is our purpose in giving? Are we giving because of the tax write-off? Are we giving because it is the thing to do? Or are we giving because we are wanting to be faithful to our commitment to Christ?

When we are authentic it shows. If we are being true to our faith, those we reach out to know the gift is because we care, not that we are showing off or putting them down.

As we strive to be faithful Christians let us remember the lessons Jesus taught in being gracious and righteous with one another.