In yet another of my efforts to launch a new regular feature on this site, I present to you a semi-regular vocabulary offering of my creation, which I believe society will be better for having heard.  Enjoy…

The Offering Wave-Off of Shame

Here’s how it goes: Bob the Usher walks past Church-goer Bill’s row, and Bob (true to his ushering duties) offers the basket to Bill.  Bill, for whatever reason, was not planning on dropping anything in the basket today, so he gives a little “no, thanks” wave (possibly accompanied by a head-shake and scowl).  To the untrained eye, it just appears that
Bill’s being greedy; Bill recognizes this, and can’t help but feel a bit of shame in his action.  Sort of like walking past the Salvation Army bell ringer without dropping anything in…

My fellow regular churchgoers will best relate to this one: in most Protestant Christian church services, there is a time taken in the service to collect an offering.  Now, though it carries negative connotations with it, the act of a church asking for donations is meant to be a positive thing for all.  When we let go of that which we hold on to the tightest, we can only then really start to let God change our hearts (plus, seriously, the church has to keep the lights on somehow, people). 

Traditionally, this giving is marked by one-tenth of someone’s income (a figure that pops up repeatedly in Scripture); to play this out over a month means that a person might not be dropping something in the basket each week, even though each week will find the basket being offered to them.  For myself, I pretty much tithe only in cash (don’t like the whole follow-up paperwork thing), and only have cash about half the time.

However, vain as we humans are, we want to avoid looking like we’re not doing the right thing.  Hence the Shame…