What’s this about plastic donuts?

Posted by on Oct 29, 2014 in Pastor's Desk | No Comments

From Pastor Becker’s heart to yours……

During our stewardship emphasis this month, we will not be focusing on the usual themes of time, talent and treasure, or proportionate, weekly giving to the local church – important as those things are. Instead, we will be focusing together on what makes a gift acceptable or pleasing to God. In the past couple months I came across a book called “Plastic Donuts” by Jeff Anderson. You can get a sneak preview of all this by going to www.AcceptableGift.org. This material has produced a significant paradigm shift in my thinking about giving as a follower of Jesus Christ. Here is a snippet of what we will dive into this month (from Jeff Anderson’s Facebook page):

Did you know there are two kinds of financial gifts?
(1) acceptable gifts – these are gifts that please God
(2) effective gifts – these are gifts that get the job done (get food to the hungry, clothes to the naked, the gospel to the lost, etc.)

Small_DonutSome effective gifts are acceptable gifts, too. But not all of them are. The property given by Ananias and Saphirra would have “effectively” met great needs. But the gift did not please God. The Pharisees gave effective tithes; but Jesus was not impressed. Of course, not all acceptable gifts are effective gifts either. Consider the perfume Mary used to worship the feet of Jesus. This was not effective use of assets; but the gift was very pleasing to Him. What about the money given to Judas? Scriptures say he stole from the purse. Still, couldn’t those resources provided have been pleasing gifts to God first?

Gift-giving began 6,000 years ago. Cain and Abel gave gifts and we suspect Adam and Eve did, too. Interestingly, there were no needs during this time. No poor, no orphans, no sick or diseased. No need for evangelism either. From the early beginnings, gifts to God were for a single purpose – to please Him. God desired gifts from His children. There was no need for “effective gifts.”

Hopefully this will whet your appetite for a remarkably refreshing look at giving from the perspective of what is pleasing to God. If you really want to dig into this, Jeff has written a major paper on what the Bible says about giving entitled: 2000 Gifts – What They Reveal about Tithing, Acceptable Giving, and Plastic Donuts. Download a pdf here.

With thanksgiving in my heart, Your unworthy under-shepherd in Christ,
Pr. Paul Becker