Right Motive

It is recorded in the twelfth chapter of Mark that Jesus once "sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury." Among those who came at this time was a poor widow, whose contribution was "two mites, which make a farthing." From this incident Jesus presents a helpful lesson, emphasizing the fact that the motive or intent of the giver is more than the gift itself; and his commendation was, "This poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury," because she loved with sufficient unselfishness to "cast in all that she had, even all her living."

This lesson has its application in a study of the By-law, Article VIII, Section 13, of our Church Manual, given us by the wisdom of our revered Leader, which governs each member's financial obligation to The Mother Church. This rule is easy of compliance, and so broad in its application that no individual member should feel its terms too binding for him. Closely studying this rule on per capita tax, it is observed that the wording refers to the time and manner of payment thus: "Every member of The Mother Church shall pay annually a per captia tax of not less than one dollar, which shall be forwarded each year to the Church Treasurer," seeming thereby to indicate our Leader's intent that each member should be in communication with The Mother Church at least once each year. Loving compliance with this By-law would therefore mean alertness to duty, interest in the universal activities of our Church, and a comprehension and appreciation of the opportunities, as well as the privileges of membership therewith.

One whose means may seem small, but who demonstrates obedience to this By-law, receives a great blessing in learning this lesson of love; and he who has out of his abundance "cast in much" must also demonstrate obedience, humility, and gratitude to earn the Master's commendation of her who cast in "all that she had." All must learn to correct the false thinking of mortal mind about the power of money. Perhaps one says, "I have so little; my home and my children, many incessant obligations, seem to demand more than my means." Let this one ponder the lesson that Jesus taught, and learn that it is not alone the money we give, but the loving thought and spiritual knowing that accompanies it, which goes forth to bless. If a member is experiencing a belief of limitation or lack, so that it does not seem possible to obey the letter of this By-law, no sense of condemnation or criticism attaches to him on this account. It is his privilege to accomplish this demonstration in due season, rejoicing in the proof of our Leader's statement in "Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures" (p. 60), "Soul has infinite resources with which to bless mankind." Another says, "One dollar is such a small amount; almost too small to send by itself." Now let us examine this rule again for instruction on this point, and we find the words, "not less than one dollar," which leaves the door of opportunity for demonstration wide open; and it becomes each member's privilege to work out his demonstration in accordance with his heart's overflowing gratitude. Still another may think that he can comply with this By-law by paying many years in advance. He believes that he can thus summarily discharge an annually recurring duty. Again turning to the Manual, we are set right on this point by the words, "shall be forwarded each year to the Church Treasurer."

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New Views of Thee
December 30, 1922

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