Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Hey Fletch … On Sunday, Mrs. Gold (that’s really her name) handed me an unmarked envelope with a letter in it. When I got back to my office and opened it, the handwritten note only said, “Use this for church expenses.” There was a $300,000 check. I’ve never seen a check for that much money before. I know that you encourage folks to not assume motives, so can you help me understand why she did this? Is she trying to get favoritism?

DRF—You are doing well to not assume motives. A wrong motive to assume is that Mrs. Gold is trying to get preferential treatment from you. As we see in James 2:1-4, this would be a problem:

My brothers and sisters, do not show prejudice if you possess faith in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ. For if someone comes into your assembly wearing a gold ring and fine clothing, and a poor person enters in filthy clothes, do you pay attention to the one who is finely dressed and say, “You sit here in a good place,” and to the poor person, “You stand over there,” or “Sit on the floor”? If so, have you not made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil motives?

You don’t want to treat Mrs. Gold any differently than anyone else in the congregation, regardless of how big her check was.

Consider your surprise at seeing such a large check. That was an eye opener. Perhaps Mrs. Gold was ill-at-ease with such a large check floating around in an offering plate or waiting to be picked up in an offering box. She may not have trusted the mail to deliver that much money. You are the person that she trusted to deliver the check to the Finance Office.

Let your normal channels deposit the check and thank her as other gifts might be thanked. The next time you see Mrs. Gold, give a warm “thank you” and move on. She probably knows the James 2 passage and doesn’t want preferential treatment!