The Butterball company staffs a hotline to help puzzled consumers cook their famous turkeys. You might guess that not all of the callers have equally reasonable questions.
One man didn’t have an electric carving knife, so he made a simple substitution: he carved the bird with a chainsaw. He called wanting to know if the chain grease and oil would affect the turkey’s flavor.
An irate woman called complaining that her turkey had no breast meat. After several questions, the Butterball staffer realized that her turkey was upside-down, and that’s why she couldn’t find her favorite cut.
My favorite story is of a caller who announced that she found a turkey in her freezer that had been there for 23 years. She wanted to know if it was still safe to eat. The employee told her that it probably wouldn’t kill anyone, so long as it had actually stayed frozen, but it would have deteriorated so much that it wouldn’t be worth eating. The woman replied, “That’s what I thought. Well, I guess I’ll just give it to our church.”
Her comment betrayed a frightfully common attitude. She believed this turkey wasn’t fit for her to eat, but it would be quite fine to give to the church. I hope you see the problem.
Too often we have been guilty of treating the church like she did. We give the Bride of Christ our leftovers—our leftover time, our leftover energy, our leftover gifts. We become people of convenient Christianity: so long as it doesn’t ask too much of me, I’m okay with it. One preacher said of this attitude, “Sin first shows itself in what you give to God.”
Are you giving God your freezer-burned butterball, or are you offering him your heart, soul, mind, and strength?