Stained Hands, Generous Hearts
After Pastor Cecil challenged his church members to triple one of their annual missions offerings, two elderly women showed up at church walking a bit slower than usual and with dark stains on their hands. On closer examination, Pastor Cecil discovered their fingers were tender and sore. He asked what they had been doing.
Knowing they could not triple their personal missions offering without extra income, the women found a landowner who let them pick pecans on his property. The elderly women spent hour after hour leaning down to pick up pecans. The backbreaking work was painful. Their fingers were sore and tender because of all the sticker bushes in the pecan grove. The process to remove the hulls and shell the pecans left indelible stains on their hands. Word of their sacrifice spread throughout the church.
Did the church triple that annual missions offering? Absolutely.
Our new national WMU president, Connie Dixon, recently talked to national WMU staff at a meeting. She spoke on being a person of influence. Connie told us to keep in mind there is always someone watching. She said, “Don’t minimize what influencing one person can accomplish.” Pastor Cecil challenged his church members. Two women caught the vision. Those two WMU leaders electrified the sacrificial giving of an entire congregation.
As Christ followers, we are responsible to steward well all that has been entrusted to our care. God is Creator. He owns everything. Stewardship extends well beyond the realm of money. We have a responsibility to be faithful with our time, abilities, relationships, resources, positions, possessions, and witness—our entire being. In his book More Than Money, Calvin Partain offers these Scripture references as the foundations of faithful stewardship:
- Don’t forget the Lord (Deut. 8:11–14)
- Everything belongs to God (Psalm 24:1–2)
- Gifts and ministries God gives (1 Cor. 12:4–7)
- Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5:1 to 7:27)
- Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9–15)
- Rest for your soul (Matt. 11:28–30)
- Two most important commandments (Matt. 22:37–40)
- Parable of a faithful servant (Matt. 25:14–30)
- Summary of Christian life (Matt. 28:19–20)
- House built on a rock (Luke 6:47–48)
- Guided by the Spirit (John 16:12–13)
Let’s manage our resources and lives in such a way they bring honor and glory to God.
Father, we recognize everything we have is by Your hand. Nurture in us a generous spirit. May we be sacrificial in the giving of our resources, the sharing of our talents, the gift of our time. We offer all for Your purposes and to serve Your kingdom. In Jesus’ name, amen.
By Sandy Wisdom-Martin, executive director/treasurer of WMU
Photo by Danie Franco at Unsplash.