Today I was listening to a great sermon delivered by Dr David Jeremiah entitled “Giving in the Grace Zone.” If you have the time I recommend listening to this excellent sermon. During the sermon he discusses the term he calls “grace giving.” Grace giving is giving back to God because of the love that we have for Him. He discusses how if we’re giving back to God because of the love we have for Him in our hearts we will offer sacrifices and selflessness.
As he delivered this sermon, I thought about the church I attend and the various opportunities it provides for me to give. I attend the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which has a lay ministry. Due to this fact, I have had the opportunity to serve in many different capacities commonly called “callings” within the organization throughout the years.
The way callings are issued are through prayerful consideration of the church’s leaders of each congregation. They then present the opportunity to the members of the church and the members then have the chance to accept or reject a calling.
During Dr Jeremiah’s sermon, he mentioned the scripture in Acts chapter 5 where Annanias and his wife act as if they are giving to the Lord, but then keep back a part of what they said they would give. He (Dr Jeremiah) says the sin wasn’t that they kept back the part of the Lord, but that they had let the church believe they were selling their land to give to the church and then went back on their word.
During my 20 years of active membership in the LDS church, I’ve heard of people who have chosen to not accept church callings. My personal feelings are that these people are better off than those who accept a calling grudgingly similar to the example of Annanias in the Bible.
Some may argue that we should accept the calling regardless of how we feel inside and just work at it and it will “grow” on you because when we serve our hearts are opened. Others will argue that one needs to get their hear right first. I’d love to hear what you think.
Feel free to share your comments below as well.