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Counsels on Stewardship

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    Liberality With No Depth of Principle

    The minister may be the special favorite of some wealthy man, and he may be very liberal with him; this gratifies the minister, and he in turn lavishes praise upon the benevolence of his donor. His name may be exalted by appearing in print, and yet that liberal donor may be entirely unworthy of the credit given him.CS 205.3

    His liberality did not arise from a deep, living principle to do good with his means, to advance the cause of God because he appreciated it, but from some selfish motive, a desire to be thought liberal. He may have given from impulse, and his liberality have no depth of principle. He may have been moved upon by listening to stirring truth, which for the time being loosed his purse strings; yet, after all, his liberality has no deeper motive. He gives by spasms; his purse opens spasmodically, and closes just as securely, spasmodically. He deserves no commendation, for he is in every sense of the word a stingy man; and unless thoroughly converted, purse and all, will hear the withering denunciation, “Go to, now, ye rich men, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are moth-eaten.”CS 205.4

    Such will awake at last from a horrible self-deception. Those who praised their spasmodic liberalities, helped Satan to deceive them, and make them think that they were very liberal, very sacrificing, when they know not the first principles of liberality or self-sacrifice.—Testimonies for the Church 1:475, 476.CS 206.1

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