If you’ve ever gone to a church in Hillsdale, you know the drill. When the collection is taken up, the usher glances down the row of college students sitting side by side, diligently studying their hands and avoiding eye contact. After a quick look, he probably passes on to the next row without even wasting the time to pass the basket.
“Shoot I forgot to bring cash,” the excuse goes. “Also I have no money and I’m going to Checker Records after this.”
We’ve all done it. But students need to support the community churches that we profit from so much.
This week, as the usher got closer to my row, I looked down at what I was wearing and quickly added up how much I had spent on my clothes. I’d like to think of myself as pretty frugal, but even so I was shocked at the amount I came up with, and ashamed at how many times I’ve justified my Sunday morning decision to leave my wallet safely at home. When the moment comes to give money away instead of spending it on myself, I suddenly become a strict and responsible budgeter.
Most of us give time and talent to a good cause, whether that’s volunteering, donating blood, leading a Bible study, or any number of other ways students serve. These are worthy and necessary, and for some people truly the best or only way they can give back. But I think many students would admit that midnight McDonald’s runs often take priority over giving a couple of dollars to the church.
In Matthew 6:21, Christ tells us, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” We learn to prioritize very well at Hillsdale when it comes to time and activities, but do we have ordered priorities when it comes to spending money? If it is true that where we give our treasure is a reflection of our hearts, we shouldn’t let the collection basket pass us by, Sunday after Sunday.
We’re poor but not that poor. It’s not really that hard to get cash back at Kroger so you have it on Sunday morning. Hey, maybe your church would even get a Venmo. Skip the latte and give a few dollars to a church or a charity. I doubt anyone will end up homeless on the street because of it.
Clara Fishlock is a senior studying History and French.