Are you proud to be a Christian? Of course, you are. Knowing Jesus and being a partaker of the heavenly gift is perhaps the best thing that can happen to anyone. But as Christians, there are things we do, I will call them the family’s traditions, things that distinguish and separate us as members of a family. There is tithing, offering, giving, prayers, Bible study, fellowshipping with fellow believers, fasting, and a lot more.
An average believer believes he is doing all these as a service to God alone, some even think they are doing God a favor by doing some things that are required of them as believers. While I am not saying these are totally wrong, it is not totally right either. Let’s look out some of the things we do as Christians and what they reveal about us.
1. Tithe: I understand that some believers believe tithing is of the old testament and we under the new covenant are no longer under the law (which is a topic for another day); but I could only see one thing peculiar to those that believe in tithing, they give purposely to receive, or let me put it properly, we give mainly because we want to receive. A lot of people will stop paying tithe if they get to know that tithing doesn’t have anything to do with how much God will bless them. You still don’t believe me? Why is it that the first thing we say of that comes to our mind when we are in need is ‘Lord, but I am paying my tithes regularly and you promised to open the gate of heaven for me’, need I say more?
2. Offering: The Lord specifically instructed the Israelites not to come to his house empty handed, so giving an offering in church is Biblical. Remember the widow who gave her all in the temple and how Jesus commended her? But the question is, what motivates the amount you give in a church as offering? What motivates you to give? Love for God or you believe the Lord will multiply whatever you give? So you got smart, did the math if I give God 500 bucks, I will receive more returns than the guy that gave 200 bucks… What a selfish mindset! And the truth is, we are all guilty of this.
3. Thanksgiving: We all should be thankful always, thankful for what we’ve received, for what we have. But another thing is. We have a cultural mentality that we need to be thankful so that we can receive more, this is what motivates most of us to give thanks at all, we want more blessings. We want to fill God with so many thanks, even for things we don’t believe he actually did, we so believe this will enable us to receive more; how selfish?
4. Prayer: Almost every religion, if not all beliefs in prayer, everyone that believes in the supernatural pray, to whom and through whom may differ, but we all pray. As Christians, prayer links us to God, we communicate and fellowship with Him through prayers. But it is so sad that prayers have been turned into a platform to achieve selfish purposes. Prayer should be more about fellowshipping and relationship, but to a lot of people, prayer is all about the time to ask and ask and ask, even more, to worsen it, all some people do when they pray is fight enemies, unknown enemies, most of which are a figment of imaginations. This is the reasons we go from one mountain to another, from one pastor to the other, pruning false hopes and wondering why we are yet to receive answers.
5. Worship: This perhaps is the saddest of all. Worship is the only thing we give God that is totally his, worship is all about God, the only way through which we bless God. But somehow, our selfishness has crept into this too, ask me how. During the Olowogbogboro challenge, I discovered a lot of people joined the challenge not because they really believe they should worship God or they need to, but because they’ve heard God is doing wonders there, so they joined the ‘frenzy’ to receive miracles. God indeed bless those who worship Him in Spirit and in truth, but receiving from God should not be our purpose for worshiping God; we should not try to bribe God with worship, never! Rather, we should worship Him with no expectations but one, that we may bring Him pleasure, that we make a sweet aroma unto the Lord!
So let me ask you, how are you doing God a favor by doing these things? There are more things we do with selfish motives as believers and this is a challenge to you, a challenge to us, a challenge to turn from deceit and self-service. God bless you!