A comment on the last post has sparked my thinking. The comment introduced the idea that a ministerial work, or an effort designed to help others in some way, is somehow sullied when the worker offers others the chance to support the work.
This idea of payment always contaminating a charitable effort is held by many the world around so I'll address it a bit here. Also, it is very likely that many of us have been taught this by the narcissist. Let me peel the layers back a bit and give you another way to look at this.
The narcissist doesn't want to acknowledge the labor and intellect of others as being worthy of being compensated. They devalue us, dismiss us and steal our efforts because they can't stand the idea of having to thank us or praise us, least of all, pay us. We've been taught to think that if we ask for anything in return for our efforts then we've ruined those efforts. The narcissist demands of us servitude. All labor for the narcissist is to be without payment. Another word for that is slavery. So...for years, usually decades, we labor, we sweat, we bleed for the narcissist. To expect even a thank you is to make your efforts into dust and ashes. They will then spit on your efforts, denigrate them--and you along with them. Their selfish world view, where they are the deified center, is threatened when they are made to feel like you should be rewarded in some way for your efforts.
Because many of you are Christian, I'll point out that the narcissist's view described above is not supported by the Bible. When Christ commissioned the seventy disciples to spread the gospel He told them that whatever the people offered to them they were to accept because "the laborer is worthy of his wages". This is an explicit statement by Christ Himself which makes it clear that from God's perspective a ministry is not sullied by gifts of support.
Paul, missionary extraordinaire, quotes Christ's words in 1 Tim. 5:18 when explaining that "elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, 'You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain' and, 'the laborer is worthy of his wages'." He makes it plain that the people showed honor to their elders with material support. Therefore, one can state categorically that it is honorable to support a worthy ministry. The material support is a concrete expression of the people to the honorable efforts of the ministry, elder, etc. Paul quotes Deuteronomy 25:4 showing the people that the concept dated back to the earliest time of the organization of Israel's civil laws. Those laws were not man-made. They were given to Moses by God.
The system of tithing was re-instituted early in the organization of Israel as a nation. This was specifically for the support of the work of the spiritual leaders whose efforts would preclude them making a living in other ways. Prior to that, in the days of the patriarchs, the concept of tithing is seen by Abraham's gifts to Melchizedek showing that from the earliest history of man there was an awareness of God's expectation that His people show support for His spiritual leaders.
Far be it from me to put myself in the category of any of the above. I most certainly don't. But I do want to show that, from the view of the Bible "the laborer is worthy of his wages". The wages do not lessen the value or nobility of the person who labors.
I really rankle at the growing sentiment out there which acts like getting paid for one's efforts is somehow base or dishonorable. Nothing could be further from the truth. Why don't we get annoyed at people who get paid for doing nothing? Who sit with their hand out with no expectation that they should earn what they get? That seems like a truly dishonorable attitude and practice. 2 Thess. 3:10, "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat."
Even in the most secular of contexts it is obvious that the "laborer is worthy of his wages". We don't expect someone to mow our lawn, wash our car, or remodel our bathroom sans wages. To deny even the most menial laborer of payment smacks of robbery at best, slavery at worst. America has been built on the concept that a man is worthy of his wages. The only real limits on success in this country are self-imposed because capitalism rewards ingenuity, motivation and elbow grease.
All this being said, I want to get back to little ol' me and this blog. People, do whatever you are moved to do. I have heretofore not given you the chance to express your support or gratitude in any tangible way. Now I have. It is purely voluntary. The chance that this blog will ever generate more than a few dollars is slim. I am not trying to make a living at this. As for what I will buy if I get more than two nickels to rub together? Likely books. I am a reader. My cat will get treats regardless of revenue from my blog. He is in no danger of losing weight. I will buy coffee regardless. I was just being light-hearted and a bit silly as a way to try to entertain you while I pointed out my Amazon widget. I haven't even asked ya'll to donate cold hard cash. I provided a way to show support that will not cost you a dime.
My next to the last thought is this: I refuse to treat you, my readers, like you are fragile little broken bits of humanity. Kid-glove treatment is not going to make you stronger. My blog is direct, frank and cuts through the crap. That is because no one gets stronger when they are not challenged to get outside their comfort zone. I'm not going to start kid-glove treatment now. I treat you like the adults you are. Life is way too short to stay in a place mentally and emotionally where one has the resilience of glass. Do not hand over your power to anyone like that.
2 Thess. 3:10, "For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat." The narcissist thinks they are worthy of support even though they do nothing. Yet, inconsistently, they think that you are not worthy of recognition for what you do for them. They can't even give you gratitude. Let's shuck the twisted world view of the narcissist and enjoy the worthy fruits of our labors without shame. If someone values your work enough to reward you...it is honorable to accept it. There is no dishonor in voluntary giving...or receiving.