September 26, 2019

September 26, 2019

September 26, 2019
2 Corinthians 8:8-15
by Thomas Kline Hinkle
CLM of St. John UMC (Chattanooga, TN)
Scenic South District

Focus Verse: It is not that there should be relief for others and hardship for you, but it is a question of equality. 2 Corinthians 8:13 CSB

My occupational focus, in the temporal world of finance and accounting, has always included the financial security and character soundness of my clients as potentially influenced by me, and therefore influenced in the most trustworthy and wholesome manner possible.

Regarding questions related to the choice of charitable contributions, excluding tax consequences, I often suggested a charity whose program services or charitable focus was one my client is not only supportive but also passionate.  Also, and very important, is that the program service (charitable focus) should represent a favorable portion of the total expenditures of the charity.  In other words, you might not desire to contribute to a charity if only 10% of your contribution goes to the charitable purpose of the charity, and 90% goes towards fundraising and administration.  Therefore, securing a copy of the charitable entity's recent audited financial statements and/or IRS Form 990 (Return of Organization Exempt from Income Tax) is necessary. 

Then upon reading and taking to heart today's scriptural passages, scripture does again as it has so many times in my past.  It gives me a "spiritual uppercut to the spiritual jaw".  Another illustration proving again that there is always a spiritual side to every decision that I too often overlook. 

I believe Scripture is now telling me that although my above concerns are not necessarily illegitimate, contributions as a donor that uplift others to a level closer to ours as the donor, helps us all to achieve the Kingdom's concept of equality.  In doing so, we of course would have to make an assessment as to the "level" of potential proprietors of the charity.  For example, when a young man desires to date my daughter, I have every right to make a judgment as to the motives of the young man, but not necessarily his salvation. In addition, when contributing to a charity and in order to achieve equality, I would assume that it is necessary to assess the "level" of the proprietors' of the charity.      

Therefore, if this concept of equality is followed in the world as it is in the gospel, the results might be in the world, as it is in scripture, and illustrated as it is written:  The person who had much did not have too much, and the person who had little did not have too little.