A bank manager was asking questions to get the information he needed to process a loan. “Do you have any outstanding debts?” he asked the woman making the application. “Any loans that you are paying off?”
“Yes. I have a commitment to my church.”
“What I meant was, are you making payments on furniture or a car, for example. Do you have any other loans to pay off?”
“No. I don’t have any other indebtedness—only my tithe to my church.” She mentioned the amount per month that she had pledged.
“Well, that’s fine. But we don’t have to include that on this loan application. It’s not a legally binding obligation.”
“It may not be legally binding, but it is a personal commitment.”
“Well, the reason I don’t have to include it is because you could pick up that phone and call your church and cancel your pledge if you couldn't keep your commitment.”
“That’s true. But I’d give up a lot of other things before I’d cancel my pledge. Go ahead and enter it as a monthly commitment.”
“Well, okay. It’s just that this is unusual. I have never had anyone mention their church pledge in response to this question.”
“One thing puzzles me. If I cannot be trusted to keep my pledge to God through my church offerings, why would a bank trust me to keep my commitments on a loan?”
This stewardship story is from the "Common Hope, Common Trust" resources published by the Ecumenical Stewardship Center, which include volume 8 of the Giving: Growing Faithful Stewards in Your Congregation magazine and Theme Materials Starter Kit. Use them to create a congregational stewardship emphasis on "Common Hope, Common Trust", based on Psalm 18:28.
The Ecumenical Stewardship Center offers congregational stewardship resources featuring 16 different, timeless biblical themes. Peruse them all and place an order in the ESC web store.