By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO
When you complete the payroll withholding forms, W4 and K4, you are asked to list the number of dependents you have. Also, when you prepare your annual tax return you have to identify your dependents.
When we answer those questions of all of the forms, in most instances we give the names of our spouse and our children. But what about your church and other charitable organizations that depend upon you? They, too, are your dependents.
Webster defines a dependent as a person who relies on another for support, especially financial support. To depend is to place reliance upon and trust in some one else. Although your church is not a person, it is dependent upon you for financial support and trusts you to provide it. The same is true for all of the Baptist and other charitable organizations you support with financial contributions.
Both in good and bad economic times, but especially in difficult economic times like the present, these charitable organizations are depending upon you and me to continue to provide support as best we can.
I am reminded of and inspired by those Macedonian Christians about which the Apostle Paul wrote in II Corinthians 8:1 – 5. Out of their extreme poverty they gave as much as they were able and some even beyond their ability. This was not what was expected given the circumstances of their lives at the time. But, what happened is they gave themselves first to the Lord, and then they gave financially and generously for the service of the saints. It’s amazing how differently we respond when we give ourselves first to the Lord. That’s the formula for true stewardship.
Then Paul urged the Corinthian Christians to emulate these Macedonian Christians when he said, “see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” This is the word of the Lord for us Christians today.
The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.