|What is the meaning of giving to the church being a spiritual process?|
Father Chris, what does it mean that giving to the Church should be a spiritual and not a physical process?
Show me a man’s (or woman’s) checkbook, and I’ll show you what is most important to him (or her). As our Lord, Jesus Christ said, our Heavenly Father knows that we need things like food and clothing and shelter. Do we trust Him enough to ensure that our needs are provided unto our salvation?
Our giving should match our priorities—and that includes not being attached to our wealth. Attachment to worldly things means that we are not ready for the truly great riches of the Heavenly Kingdom. To lay up treasure in Heaven—where it will last—means to have God as our first priority and our neighbors in need as our second. The Holy Scriptures lay a wonderful foundation for how we are to acquire and spend wealth. The first priority is the tithe—that which is offered in support of the Temple. The second is giving to charity—to those in need. After these two are fulfilled, then we are to look at the rest of our earthly needs.
So, what does this mean practically? If we are spending more money on our monthly entertainment (TV, Internet, Movies, Going out to eat, etc.) than what we give to the Church and to the poor, we value the things of this world more than our relationship with God. On the other hand, if our giving shows that we value our relationship with God more than anything else, we are truly laying up treasure in Heaven!