I have carefully observed how Christians and folks generally make ‘rash vows’ and end up being indebted to God and people. I wish we all can see our giving to God as wilful obedience.
In Exodus 35, During the construction of the temple, Moses simply told the people about the need at hand and all the people of Israel who wanted to, brought their offering to the Lord for the work which He had commanded Moses to do.
People think that when they teach this, people won’t give but the contrary was the result it produced. In chapter 36: 4-7…Bezalel and Oholiab along with all whom God had gifted with the ability to work skilfully with their hand. The men were eager to get started and engage in their work. They took from Moses all the offering that the Israelites had brought for the work of constructing the sanctuary, the people kept on bringing in their freewill offering morning after morning.
Vs 21-22 Then they came back everyone whose heart was roused whose spirit was freely responsive bringing offerings to God for building a tent of meeting furnishing it for worship and making the holy vestments. They came both men and women all the willing spirits among them offering brooches, earrings, rings, necklaces, anything made of gold, offering up their gold jewellery to God .
Finally in the end…All the Artisans who were at work making everything involved in constructing the sanctuary came one after the other to Moses saying ‘the people are bringing more than enough for doing the work that God has commanded us to do’. So Moses sent out orders through the camp saying “Men and Women, no more offerings for the building of the sanctuary”. The people were ordered to stop bringing gifts. There was plenty of materials for all the work to be done, enough and more than enough.
I know the church has needs that require money, but we shouldn’t coax the people into making uncoordinated moves that they end up regretting. The purpose of Gods blessing is to produce generosity in us. It doesn’t make sense to wait for an emotional sermon that stirs you up and you rush out and pledge everything in your bank account only to get home when all the goose bumps are gone and change your mind and never fulfil the pledge. It is better not to vow than to vow and not fulfil it. You are only hindering the progress of the work of God by making outrageous promises to the church that you will never fulfil. I have heard a story from an authentic source of a Pastor that went and bought musical equipments on credit because a member pledged N500 000 with the expectation that he will redeem it by faith, only for Him to fail and the sellers came to the church during service only to dismantle everything…u can imagine the scene for yourself.
The truth is that you can’t out give God or make him more pleased with you than he already is. Just calm down, giving is a healthy habit not a reflex action. So every Christian should constantly give in response to needs whether in the church or to help a friend, all is unto the Lord.
On the other hand, we borrow from people- Christian friends and don’t ever pay back. Please I appeal to you, if you know you won’t pay back from the onset maybe because you feel he is your brother, just make it clear to him that he is giving it to you out rightly and that you don’t have plans or the means to reimburse. It is not wise to promise to pay back only to play around his good heart with excuses- that is deception. Don’t think that the blood of Jesus will wipe off the memory of your debt from his heart. If you are not able to meet up, kindly ask for an extension- thats simple courtesy and integrity.
Some folks even expect the Christian friend to cancel the debt automatically without asking for it all because ‘we are brethren’ without even considering if He has the capacity to write off the debt, he my need it for business, family needs, upkeep etc. The truth is that he may not summon the courage to ask you of it but he dearly wishes that you return his money… he needs it.
These little things can cause a lot of loggerheads in our relationship with one another making people believe that no one can be trusted when it comes to money matters.
As for your pledge in church, please do well to go and redeem it asap no matter how long it has taken (Am sure your pastor has been waiting for you to come). But don’t make such pledges again (just an advice).
My Fellowship President in school used to say that :No debt is too old to be paid by an honest man.