Why Should We Give
"When I grasp that I’m a steward, not an owner, it totally changes my perspective. It’s the ultimate paradigm shift. Suddenly, I’m not asking, “How much of my money shall I, out of the goodness of my heart, give to God?” Rather, I’m asking, ‘Since all of ‘my’ money is really yours, Lord, how would you like me to invest it today?’… When I take to heart the truth that God has a claim, not merely on a few dollars to throw in an offering plate, not on 10% or 50%, but 100% of “my” money, it’s revolutionary. Suddenly, I’m not God. I’m simply God’s money manager. Money isn’t God. God is God. He is in His place; I am in mine, and money is in its place too.” – Randy Alcorn
Christians are to give “according to their ability” (Acts 11:29). There are seasons to economic life. And there are economic responsibilities to our families and to our debts. In many cases, good planning over time will be necessary to move our giving into proportions that reflect our eternal priorities without reneging on legal and personal financial obligations.
We are to give out of what we have, not out of what we do not have. Each of us needs to prayerfully determine what generous giving is for each of our families… for some people, 10% is too low a starting point. For others, giving even 5% is a sacrifice.
Paul says about the Macedonians, “they gave as much as they were able and even beyond their ability” (II Cor. 8:3). That means they gave until it meant a sacrifice in their lifestyle.
Paul encouraged the Corinthian church that, “On the first day of every week, each one should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income” (1 Corinthians 16:2). Regular giving cultivates a lifestyle of generosity in the hearts of God’s people. Usually spontaneous or unplanned giving, while perhaps joyful, is not proportionate. The actual tally of completely spontaneous giving usually shows little sacrifice involved. We must plan. We must allow the church to help with reminders and directions.
Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce;
2 Corinthians 9:6-7
The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
2 Corinthians 9:7
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.