Wednesday, April 29, 2009

That Which Costs Me Nothing

There seems to be a "hustler" mentality running rampant through the church today. Many ministries would like you to volunteer your marketable skills and talents for unlimited access, while capitalizing on the profit for themselves. There is nothing wrong with choosing to donate time to the church and serving the ministry with no desire for profit. It is important that we examine ourselves daily to see if we are taking advantage of anyone unfairly.

It is often said that "You get what you pay for." Initially, many who would charge the going rate for services in the secular arena may feel honored to help someone or an organization at no cost. When the person or the organization continues to take advantage of this "free" service without ever offering anything to the laborer, the one donating his or her time may feel used or abused. It's one thing for people to give time and money from the heart. It's another to expect it eternally without thought or regard for the giver. There is no fee charged to attend Sunday morning services; however, the offering plate will be passed in anticipation that the people would like to see the ministry continue.

The mentality of getting something for nothing is running rampant through many dance ministries today. We should not expect garments for free just because we are in ministry. We should not hesitate to pay to attend conferences and events that will enrich us. If we have Kingdom businesses and the only websites that we use are "free," we may not be considered a legitimate business. When our business cards are ordered from free printing warehouses, the excellence factor may be diminished. Don't get me wrong, having printed materials and a website is better than having nothing at all!

Even though David was a king, when it came to the things of the Lord, he understood that his treasure and heart were connected. When David approached Arunah for a threshing floor, he could have gotten it for free just because of his position. David did not use his title to get "freebies" from people. Because the use of the threshing floor was to be dedicated to the Lord, David insisted that he would pay for it and not offer the Lord something that costs nothing.

When we invest our resources in ministry, it shows that we are making a sacrafice. There is a time to receive money, gifts, and the like, but we must make sure that we are not expecting over and above what is reasonable. When we cannot reward others monetarily, a little appreciation goes a long way. Even if someone decides to bless us with money, donated time, or other resources, we should take the time to give thanks for the blessing the Lord has allowed them to be in our lives.

(New King James Bible Version)

2 Samuel 24:24
Then the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will surely buy it from you for a price; nor will I offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God with that which costs me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.

1 Chronicles 21:24
Then King David said to Ornan, “No, but I will surely buy it for the full price, for I will not take what is yours for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings with that which costs me nothing.”

Jeremiah 22:13
Woe to him who builds his house by unrighteousness and his chambers by injustice, Who uses his neighbor’s service without wages and gives him nothing for his work

Revelation 3:18
I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.

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