Not For Sale
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It is Easy Invoking God’s Name
The abuse of authority in stewardship occurs when servants of God invoke the name of the Lord in order to forestall opposition or avoid censor. If the Lord hasn’t indeed spoken, then any invocation of His name constitutes a misuse of God’s name and an abuse of authority.
In his book, Chanakya’s Chant, Ashwin Sanghi says: “It is impossible to know when a fish swimming in water drinks some of it. Thus it’s quite impossible to find out when government servants in charge of undertakings misappropriate money.”
If it is impossible to tell when the fish is drinking some of the water it swims in and to tell when a government employee misuses the money under his management, it is even trickier finding out when servants of God pursue their personal whims but invoke God’s name to delude fellow believers. I once watched a servant of God—if indeed he is—being asked by a journalist to explain his lavish life. He maintained that his lifestyle and effluence reflect what the Bible says about servants of God. The journalist tried to probe but the minister couldn’t allow her to probe any further. He simply walked away.
Interestingly, there are multitudes of believers partnering with ministers who are already wealthy. In fact they are wealthy enough to sponsor and sustain an elaborate work of God. Those partnering with a wealthy minister are not necessarily supporting the work of reaching the souls more than they are funding and sustaining a lavish lifestyle. May the reader not get me wrong, I am not saying that rich ministries should not be supported, I’m saying the ministers should be very careful that they don’t settle for unnecessarily and overly lavish lifestyles. Otherwise, we might be misappropriating resources by supporting such ministers. I believe it matters where we put our money and why.
In order to align our attitude with that of Christ, we must understand that not everything we give away is a seed planted. There has been a misuse of the phrase “plant a seed.” Misappropriation of expressions lead to misappropriation of resources. If something is meant to be given away freely but somebody “plants” it, that would constitute misappropriation. “Freely you have received, freely give,” Jesus commanded (Matt. 10:8). May I repeat, not everything we give is a seed planted.
We must tame the attitude of ‘commercialized giving’. There is no denying that there are things we invest in a commercial sense where the hope to profit is the driving motive—that is part of life, no problem. But this must be kept into healthy perspective as had seen earlier. The apostle Paul warns against those who think that godliness is a means to financial gain (1 Tim. 6:5). He didn’t mean that gaining financially as a result of godliness is necessarily wrong. If everything is set into right perspective, then it is the wrong attitude and motive for godliness that he was attacking.I would also like to caution that the attitude for supporting a ministry should be very clear and noble. I personally know somebody who was partnering with a very rich ministry. Her reason for partnering was not as much to empower the ministry to reach more people as it was for her to be blessed with material riches. The minister associated with the ministry had told her that people partnering with him will be exceptionally blessed materially.
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