“Well, looks like we pulled in $23 for all that garbage.”
“But there’s a bunch of things left.”
“Some old coat hangers, a half bar of soap, and a stained Hello Kitty backpack.”
“I just bet Jesus could use those things at the church.”
Don’t throw that out! Jesus needs it!
In the book of Malachi, God is ticked because people are ‘robbing him.’ They bring their sickly, gross animals to be sacrificed while they keep the good ones for themselves. The sacrifices have ‘blemishes.’ They aren’t the peoples’ best – they are the leftovers that they’d rather not have anyway. And then they wonder why God holds back his blessings. It’s great stuff.
A lot of churches have this problem today. Most churches are filled with ‘blemished’ sacrifices – things that people want out of their house because it’s now junk, so they figure the church can use it. Most people aren’t donating used pianos either. It’s cruddy stained furniture that’s ‘good enough’ for the youth group to use. They bring worn out Christmas decorations ‘good enough’ for the church foyer. They donate old dishes ‘good enough’ for God’s people to eat off of. They toss old books, 8 tracks, and VHSs into the church library. Anything – old coffeepots, kitchen utensils, clothing ‘good enough’ for the church.
We take up the offering and pray that God will bless and multiply our gifts, but do we really want God to multiply our gifts if they’re just a bunch of useless garbage that you want to get out of your house? Why on earth, if you’re so eager to get that hideous old chair out of your house, would you want to see it every Sunday in God’s house?
Next time you’re thinking of donating some old junk to the church, go ahead and clean out your fridge, and toss that stuff in the pile for donation too.
Mmmm! Time to make my famous church potluck surprise!
UPDATE: As a follow up to my last post, a question I’ve heard and read asked by others: what kind of toilet paper is in your bathroom at home? Perhaps it has a baby on the package, or some cuddly bears. What kind of soap is on your sink? Is it a pump? Does it come out as a foamy fragrant puff of goodness?
Now what kind of toilet paper is in your church? Go on and check. Does it look like it came from Sam’s or Costco – some kind of butcher paper-like product with no trace of babies, bears, or any sort of ‘quilting?’ What about the soap? A toxic pink liquid that looks as if its been cut by half with water?
It’s a simple point – maybe you don’t have fancy products in your house, but when you have guests, you usually clean the place up and put out the best of what you have. What does it say to your guests in church when the bathrooms are stocked with the cheapest products, things that many people wouldn’t put up with in their own homes – another example of ‘good enough.’ I actually was told a story of a man who visited a church once, then again six months later – and never again. The reason? His first visit, he found a crack in the bathroom mirror. Six months later? You guessed it. No one had bothered to fix the crack. And that was the impression he had of how that church treated God.