Friday, October 19, 2007

Giving

So, after reading many of the responses regarding the post called 'Controversy,' I thought that I would add some thoughts regarding giving to the church. I haven’t talked much on money, but let’s face it…generates discussion. I have been enjoying the last few sessions and the comments that have been posted, and I do apologize for having to moderate your comments, but for the most part almost all comments have been allowed through and I will continue to do my part in allowing even those that seems silly...but add a sense of fun to this blog.

So, on this post I want to throw some ideas out there and would love to hear your thoughts on the matter of giving to the church.

Randy Alcorn in his book the Treasure Principle says:
“You can't take it with you – but you can send it on ahead.”

With that in mind, here are four guidelines that someone has shared with me regarding giving to the church.

First, we need to Pay God (I could talk about tithing here but for the sake of arguing needlessly, I will leave it open).

2 Corinthians 8:7
But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.


Then we need to Pay Yourself

Proverbs 6:6-8
Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider its ways and be wise! It has no commander, no overseer or ruler, yet it stores its provisions in summer and gathers its food at harvest.


Thirdly, Pay Your Debts

Romans 13:8
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.


Finally, Live Within a Budget

Luke 14:28
Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?


With all those in mind there are some things that we can take for granted or that are underlying assumptions when it comes to money. They are:

GOD owns everything, and I am His money manager. In other words we are the managers of the assets GOD has entrusted, not given, to us.

My hearts always goes where I put GOD’s money. Watch what happens when you reallocate your money from temporal things to eternal things.

Giving is the only antidote to materialism. Giving is a joyful surrender to a greater person and a greater agenda. It dethrones me and exalts GOD.

GOD prospers me not to raise my stand of living, but to raise my standard of giving. In other words GOD gives us more money that we need so we can give generously.

Some ideas, some thoughts?

4 comments:

Misty B said...

A friend of mine once told me that she would talk about any other problem she could think of before she talked about money. I get where she is coming from. What makes it worse is that the world tells you that in your thirties you accumulate debt and pay it off in your forties. They affirm holding debt as long as you can pay the interest. Yet my heart tells me that managing a significant debt load (and paying interest on it) is not how God wants me to spend His money.

There is such a stigma in the world in admitting to having financial problems or even just saying you can’t afford something. So all the time people (myself included) go into debt or forsake their financial goals to go out for dinner and a movie.

I do donate to charity and tithe sacrificially. I do so out of obedience not in the hope that it will bring me blessing (okay maybe a little bit.) I have heard amazing stories and seen amazing things happen to my friends who have tithed in faith. None of that has really happened for me.

I often think how in the church and outside of it we are failing each other because we don’t hold one another accountable. I think that this is no truer than it is in financial matters. Most of the people I know don’t need someone to teach them the 10-10-80 rule or tell them how to budget. They need to be accountable for how they are spending their money.

One Heathen said...

Last year Tony Campolo told me that he thinks God should fear blessing Christians with more money. The reason? They would probably assume that it was for them.

novice said...

Come on now, this conversation isn't going anywhere until someone uses the words "pressed-down, shaken together and overflowing" in a sentence... ;)

Seriously, though, it's a tough subject. I struggle more with the 'receiving' bit than giving - or rather the expectations we're sometimes told to have.

I do believe the line in the original post that "giving is the only antidote to materialism" - but why then do those who preach giving the loudest also seem to be the most materialistic?

Anonymous said...

$500-$1000 seems like a lot to some people, to others it is a new computer or their cruise or trip money.

I was thinking how much easier it would be to get down payment money for land or a building if each family represented at Soul could donate a one time gift of $500-$1000 extra to the building fund. Why? Because some of us have it but spend it other places. Why? Because God will take care of us when we give sacrificially.

Why? Because they would feel blessed and honoured for doing it because God gives a peace and joy that the world does not.

So many good reasons why.