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GIVING   5'?m2f A financial analyst recommends giving

ANN -- (smartly dressed in business suit, carrying briefcase, 
enters, pushes button on imaginary elevator)

AMY -- (dressed in business suit, carrying briefcase, enters 
opposite, runs) Hold the elevator!

ANN -- Don't worry. This is the slowest elevator in seven 
counties. We'll be lucky if it arrives before the millennium. You 
are obviously new here. 

AMY -- (staring at Ann inquisitively) Yes, ah, as a matter of 
fact, I just started at Consolidated, (points) just down 
the... Say, don't I know you?

ANN -- I don't know, do you? You don't look familiar to me...

AMY -- ...Yes, I know you! I saw your picture on your home page 
on the internet. You're....

BOTH -- ...The professional woman's investment counselor.

ANN -- I'm flattered that you remembered. I'm Ann Whitaker. My 
office is (points) at the end of the hall there. (extends hand)

AMY -- (clasping hands) Well, isn't that funny?! I figured your 
office was on wall street. My name is Amy Warren. I filled out 
that form on your web page and sent it to you. Did you receive 
it?

ANN -- Amy Warren. Yes. As a matter of fact, I was going to work 
on your portfolio tonight at home. (pats briefcase) But I'm glad 
I have a chance to talk to you. You left something off of your 
form.

AMY -- Oh? 

ANN -- Yes. You checked off the box that said you were a 
Christian, but you didn't make an entry on your expenses for 
giving.

AMY -- Giving.

ANN -- Yes, a Christian who isn't giving is kind of a 
contradiction in terms.

AMY -- I'm sorry. I don't know what you mean.

ANN -- Oh, how do I put this. I don't want to offend you.

AMY -- Offend me? How could you offend me?

ANN -- Well, some people check off the box that says they're 
Christians because they go to church or because their parents 
were Christians. They have no real commitment to Jesus Christ.

AMY -- Well, I made a commitment to Jesus a few month ago, but I 
still don't know what that has to do with giving.

ANN -- Hasn't your pastor ever talked to you about giving?

AMY -- Well, yes, but I always figured that he gave the sermon 
on giving when he needed a new car or when the church needed a 
new roof.

ANN -- So, you don't give.

AMY -- Well, I give. But...

ANN -- ...But you're one of those who gives whatever is in your 
purse on Sunday morning....

AMY -- ....minus whatever I need for Sunday brunch after church.

ANN -- Oh, I feel sorry for you.

AMY -- You do? Why?

ANN -- You're missing half the fun.

AMY -- Fun? You think giving away your money is fun?

ANN -- Listen, are you sure you're a committed Christian? 
Because giving doesn't make much sense to nonbelievers.

AMY -- Well, I'm a committed Christian, alright. But I guess I 
missed the part of the sermon on giving that talked about fun.

ANN -- The Old Testament book of Malachi promises that your 
storehouses won't be able to contain all your blessings when you 
start trusting the Lord with your money.

AMY -- You don't really believe that, do you?

ANN -- Believe it? I live it! Hardly a week goes by that I don't 
have a story to tell about how God blesses me financially 
because I trusted him with my money.

AMY -- You sound like a public relations campaign for my pastor. 
I suppose you tithe.

ANN -- As a matter of fact I do.

AMY -- How can you afford that? I mean, I just got a new job 
with a higher salary and I can't imagine giving away ten percent 
of it. You don't really give ten percent of your income, do you?

ANN -- At least.

AMY -- More? You give more?!

ANN -- Yes.

AMY -- How much do you give?

ANN -- You can't go by how much I give. I have the gift of 
giving.

AMY -- What does that mean?

ANN -- In essence, the Lord gives me lots of money because he 
knows I get such a kick out of giving his money away.

AMY -- HIS money.

ANN -- Yes, after you've been giving regularly and sacrificially 
for awhile, you realize that it's all God's money.

AMY -- So, how much do you give?

ANN -- I told you, you can't go by me. I have the gift of 
giving.

AMY -- How much?

ANN -- Sixty percent.

AMY -- You're kidding!

ANN -- No, I'm not kidding.

AMY -- Sixty percent?!

ANN -- Yes.

AMY -- Listen, I saw that suit you're wearing in a fashion 
magazine. It's an Armani, isn't it? 

ANN -- Well, yes.

AMY -- And your shoes cost more than my television set. How can 
you give away 60% of your income and dress like a magazine ad?

ANN -- I told you, I have the gift of giving. It's a special 
arrangement I have with the Lord. The more I give away, the more 
the Lord blesses me. 

AMY -- I've heard that rhetoric before.

ANN -- It's true. The Lord knows that I'll not only give away 
his money, but I'll also tell those who are blessed by his 
money about the Lord's blessings.

AMY -- Sixty percent?!

ANN -- I told you, you can't go by me. The important thing for 
you, if you are a committed Christian, is to give the first 
fruits of all your crops to the Lord, and then stand back and 
watch him bless your life.

AMY -- That means tithing.

ANN -- You can't out-give God. 

AMY -- There you go with the rhetoric again.

ANN -- If you give to God from the first part of your income, he 
promises to meet all your needs. I am living proof that he keeps 
his promises. He'll do the same for you.

AMY -- Including Armani clothes?

ANN -- He promises to meet all your NEEDS, not all your greeds.

AMY -- Well, he gave YOU nice clothes. 

ANN -- There are a lot of wealthy people in this city who don't 
know the Lord. I wouldn't be able to tell them about the Lord 
unless I... well, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.

AMY -- Wow! Sixty percent!

ANN -- The important thing for you is to begin giving from your 
first fruits and to give with a smile.

AMY -- How can I just give away ten per cent of my income and 
then smile about it?

ANN -- If you can't smile about it, don't give it. God loves a 
cheerful giver. There are no promises in the Bible for grudging 
givers.

AMY -- Yes, but why give at all, I mean, other than because the 
pastor needs a new car?

ANN -- Amy, it has nothing to do with what the church does with 
your money. It has to do with trust.

AMY -- Trust. You lost me there.

ANN -- If you will trust God with your money, you will trust him 
with every aspect of your life. And God promises that he will 
reveal himself to those who trust him. 

AMY -- Well, I'm a relatively new Christian. I don't have a lot 
of confidence in the promises of God yet.

ANN -- Then, let me share my experience with you. I have a lot 
of clients. And those who trust the Lord most with their money 
are those who worry least about money.

AMY -- That's interesting. I worry about money. I worry about 
money a lot. That's why I filled out that form on the Internet 
for you.

ANN -- Then start giving for the peace of mind.

AMY -- Somehow, I still can't see the connection between giving 
your money away and getting peace of mind.

ANN -- (pats briefcase) In your form, you said you would accept 
a fair amount of risk for a reasonable return on your money.

AMY -- That's right.

ANN -- Take a risk on God. If he gave his life for your eternal 
security, don't you think he's worth risking a little money for?

AMY -- Put me down for ten per cent.

ANN -- So, you're going to start tithing?

(ding)

AMY -- (deep breath, exiting) What have I done?

ANN -- (following) This only works if you're smiling.

AMY -- If I start working on smiling tonight, I'm sure I'll have 
a smile by Sunday.


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