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Our society is obsessed with money. It is all about gaining money, building up finances and attaining wealth, which are all beneficial when the ambition is healthy. Saying that, it is rare we see an equal promotion for giving in the same way. Giving is a crucial part of our mandate as Christians, with our example being Christ. But how often do we actually give when we see a need? What are our thoughts and attitudes when there is a call to give and why are we not as enthusiastic when it comes time to open our wallets?
Our attitude to give
The topic of giving has become more sensitive within our church communities and Christian spheres. We are too comfortable with what we believe is ours. However, if we were to understand that everything, absolutely everything we have is a gift from God and belongs to God, we might learn to loosen our grip.
The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in itPsalm 24:1
When a Christian finds it hard to give, whether time, money or any other resources, for a need, especially in the body, we must understand why. Jesus says in His famous sermon on the mount, “You cannot serve both God and money” (Matt. 6:24). One will be disregarded in devotion to the other. We must ask ourselves if we are serving money more than God? And have we made an idol of our finances?
Unfortunately, there can be a belief that if we have “enough” money, everything will be good. We can put more faith in our finances than in the Lord God Almighty, creator of the universe. Yet, the more we give, the more we can trust God as our provider. The Word says, “give” and it will be given to you (Luke 6:38) and the word of God will never return to Him void (Isa. 55:11). We need to change our attitude towards money.
An eternity mindset
Our outlook on giving can be hindered by our mindset. If we are more focused on earthly possessions, such as money, we might be less inclined to let go. The rich young ruler was not ready to give up his finances for the Kingdom. He chose money over God and sometimes we unknowingly making the same choice in how we use our money. However, the things on this earth are temporary, including money, they fade away and soon become dust.
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and stealMatthew 6:19
We must remember we have an eternity of bountiful blessings to come and we are merely stewards over what God has given us. It is a blessing to be abounding and bountiful with finances, however, many times we have been ‘blessed to be a blessing’, especially in relation to the Kingdom of God.
Generally, we understand the idea of this type of giving as specifically to a church body or organisation during a church service. However, our giving can extend further than our church.
Be moved by compassion
It is important to serve our church when there is a financial need as we aim to build up the body where we can. Having said that, we need to recognise that the body of Christ extends beyond our church walls. There are great organisations and ministries outside, sharing the good news who need financial support to continue their work. Charities which are serving the Lord and preaching the Gospel through outreach projects in marginalised countries and improvised communities. Our hearts should be filled with as much compassion when we see needs we know we can contribute towards.
We must be led by the Holy Spirit in this area and understand that it may not be every time. Nonetheless, we should always be open to give, even as small as it may seem. Jesus spoke of a woman who gave from her very last in Mark 12:41-44. Despite how it looked to the outside, her little was the most given. Jesus knew her situation. God knows our situation too, He understands what we have and what we can give. Equally, when we have received a blessing in our finances, there should naturally be a desire to give to God.
Our Lord and saviour gave the greatest gift we could ever receive. He gave His life. We are forever blessed and the sacrificial character of His giving should inspire us to give selflessly in whatever capacity.
Ultimately, when we give our money for whatever need it can support, we are serving God. Our money is not our own. We need to remember who the source is and the giver of all things. Trust in the promises of God as it pertains to our giving. Be ready to give and understand that our money will not follow us to eternity. We glorify God with our giving here on earth.
For more on the topic of giving, listen to the latest episode of the #OnTheTable podcast!