Monthly Archives: September 2013

Stretching the Truth for the Sake of the Ministry

Stretching the truth

Stretching the truth

We’ve all done it:

We exaggerate numbers.

We fudge on details.

We knowingly mislead people for personal gain.

We say things we don’t mean.

Maybe worse than all of this, preachers sometimes stretch the truth for the sake of making a point while preaching. Not only is this accepted as normal, many times this kind of behavior is rewarded. Some of the most beloved preachers are full of baloney! It is considered as charisma!

Most people may think this type of behavior is harmless, especially since everyone seems to do it. My question for Christian leaders is, why? Why do we feel it necessary to stretch the truth for the sake of the ministry?

Maybe…

We want to appear better than we are. We feel insecure about our performance.  We are in competition with someone else and we need the upper hand.  There are short-term advantages to stretching the truth.

Our job may be in jeopardy. People respond to sensationalism. And a myriad of other reasons.

There are some important facts about stretching the truth that we should realize:

  1. God knows the truth and expects it out of you.
  2. People can spot a phony a mile away. They may appear that they are OK with it, but they will ultimately not trust you. People hate to be deceived.
  3. Your conscience will and should bother you when you lie.
  4. The blessings of God will be limited if you insist on deception.
  5. You reap what you sow. Deceivers will be deceived by others.

God makes it clear. Integrity is not optional. Ephesians 4:25 says, “So stop telling lies. Let us tell our neighbors the truth, for we are all parts of the same body.” (NLT) It can’t get any clearer – we are supposed to tell the truth.

Christians, let’s do better. Our integrity is a stake. We must be authentic. People can see through our deception. And worse, God knows when we are being dishonest.

If we commit to be honest in our dealings with other people, God will bless our work for Him and we will be able to measure the long-term positive results. We are doing His work, after all.


11 Reasons NOT to Give Tithes

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The word “tithe” mean “tenth”. It is a biblical principle that indicates that people are supposed to offer 10% of their income to the church. 10%! That’s a huge percentage. Like you, I can think of many reasons why I should not give away that much of my money!

Here are just a few:

1. I need that money. I need to pay bills; my family has needs. I’m in debt over my head. I am responsible to take care of my financial obligations. If I give tithes, I may not be able to do so.

2. I need to save for the future. Who knows what tomorrow holds? Anything could happen…and I need to be prepared for an unknown future.

3. What if something bad happens? My car could break down or our refrigerator might stop working. If I pay tithes, I might get stuck in a bad spot.

4. I don’t like everything that happens in our church. The pastor doesn’t always do things that way I want him to. I’m not sure where all the money goes. The staff probably makes too much money. I think they waste a lot of resources. I could go on and on…

5. Tithing is an Old Testament concept. Jesus never said, “Thou shalt tithe”.  In the New Testament, we are free to do whatever we think is best. Tithing is legalism. We are no longer bound by the Old Testament rules.

6. I don’t have enough money. It’s simple: I already run short of money. Common sense says that if I give money away, I’ll have less. One day, when I get rich, I will tithe.

7. I don’t feel called to give tithe. Generosity is not my spiritual gift. The Bible clearly says that some people have the spiritual gift of generosity. I don’t have that gift!

8. Let the rich people take care of the church. They could write one check and pay all the church bills. That way, those of us who have less wouldn’t have to deal with that responsibility.

9. I know of too many crooked preachers and churches. I’ve heard too many stories about Mercedes Benz and vacation homes in Vegas. There is no way I’m helping that preacher get rich!

10. I pay my tithes in different ways, like volunteering to serve at church and singing in the choir. If I give ten percent of my time, that’s the same thing.

11. God doesn’t need my money – He owns everything.

I trust by now, you understand that this is a parody. Pardon my sarcasm. The above are all reasons that I have heard as to why some people don’t give tithes. And any excuse will do. The truth is, among a hundred other good reasons, other people will be blessed if you do tithe. That should be enough – helping other people. Helping them to find Christ, to serve God, to find healing for their marriage and family, to have something to eat, to know that God loves them.

It’s simple. Just give God your 10%. You will like the results.