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Is Uncle Sam Left Handed?

But when you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing that your alms may be in secret; and your Father who sees in secret will repay you. (Matt 6:3-4 NASB)

So – this is different.

Our Church has this envelope system. You get a set of envelopes for the year, and each week you put your tithes and offerings in the envelope, detail how you want your giving broken down, and toss that puppy in the basket as it goes by.

This system makes it easy for the church to keep track of your giving and let you know at tax time how much you have given to the church in great detail.

As an aside, I happen to know that very few people actually know who gives what, not even the Pastors or Elders get this info.

One of the young folks in my life who is really going after God with all his heart had been throwing cash in the basket, and we (my wife and I) encouraged him to get some envelopes or at least use checks so he could claim the deductions on his tax return.

He said – but Jesus said…

Hmmm –

Let me say that again

Hmmm –

Ok – I can make the stewardship argument – you know – isn’t it good stewardship to get the deduction from the government…

But –

Hmmm –

Hey come back tomorrow.

photo credit: EJP Photo via photopin cc

0 thoughts on “Is Uncle Sam Left Handed?

  1. EP

    Ben, this is interesting. Paul and I attended a church for four years and actually did that too--just put cash in. In part because we were not 10% tithing and were "giving" what we could but also struggling to live. We honestly didn't want to play the game of being judged for the amount we gave nor did we want to confirm to current church attitudes. We felt more like the widow with her mites -- God knows we are giving sacrificially. Tax deductions never really impacted our returns, it seemed, and frankly we kind of liked getting off the grid and just giving. Period.
    (I read your blog this time because I thought you were writing about how many of our recent presidents were left handed, and since I am, I was curious!)
    Looking forward to your follow up. Thanks!

    1. Ben Nelson

      I am really glad you stopped in, and sorry if you came by trickery - my wife is a left - and i am a fan. Frankly I would give my right arm to be ambidextrous.
      Thanks for taking time to comment.

      I love the idea of being off the grid.


      1. Vicki

        the way husband looks at it is this.. he supports an online ministry to the native indians, and they send him a tax receipt.. he says if they send one he will use it, but for church he has always given cash.

  2. Caddo Veil

    Ooooh, this is a good one, Ben! I'm already liking the "young folk", but of course I'll be back tomorrow to see how this plays out!! God bless you abundantly (and the fam)--love, sis Caddo (who uses the envelopes because I tithe long distance--but the deductions letter doesn't matter to me, as my Soc Sec is too small to require I pay taxes)

    1. Ben Nelson

      Hmmm - So - i guess i need to write a follow up article - LOL - yours is the second indication that i left a cliff hanger.

      I do have lots more to say on the issue - we shall see.
      Thanks as always for playing so well with others.

      The young folk is actually my son, but he said he does not mind if i mention him. He is first class.

        1. Ben Nelson

          yeah - that was the original plan - but then i pondered the generosity thing all day and figured i would just go for it.

          Better break anyway - Monday i can start fresh on the prayer stuff which looks good so far - (blush)

  3. Jeff

    I've always either used the envelopes, written checks (most churches track those, even you don't use an envelope), or now, I can give online. I don't really struggle with the issue, but I knew someone who, like the examples here, gave only cash, because he believed that strongly about the words of Jesus. I believe the words of Jesus, too, but, at this point in my life, haven't been convicted to not go ahead and take that deduction at the end of the year. Good food for thought, though.

  4. Debbie

    Ben . .I love there are no guilt trips for sale here. 🙂 and I loved all your hhhmmm's. 🙂 I could add a few of mine too. I've done both ways, and now don't get to go to church but still tithe, so mail it in. hmmm. But I don't HAVE to claim it. hhhmmm. (see I knew I was going to start hhhmming too!
    God bless you, Ben, and thank you for making us think!


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