Something About Giving

  • This post will be a bit different. The scripture references will be 2 Corinthians 8:12-14. Here it is in the NLT - 12 Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And [give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.] 13 Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality. 14 Right now you have plenty and can [help those who are in need.] Later, [they will have plenty and can share with you when you need it.] In this way, things will be equal.

    Now that's the basis for what I'm about to say, because it brings me finally to the subject of benevolence. I was watching a church service live online yesterday and when it came time for the offering (notice I didn't say tithes and offering) the individual asked the congregants to please remain standing as we prepare to continue worshipping the Lord with our giving. A loud and long applause broke out in the audience, as it should. He said they could simply walk by the offering boxes in the front and drop off their gift. Then he said, just as the scriptures above state, that if you are able to give more based on your current financial station in life, we believe the Holy Spirit will guide your heart to do so. Then he said something that really grabbed ahold of me and I said to myself (now that's a solid comforting truth filled word I can really receive). Here's what he said:

    ”For those who [can] give, remember, we give not to get, but we give with [expectancy] that God will bring the promises of his grace to us. Having said that, you cannot out give God, so by His supreme nature you will receive more than enough from Him. Also, you cannot give what you have not yet received. It was God who gave the seed to the sower so the fruits of God's gift could be multiplied and a portion given back in return.

    Now, for those who are unable to give for whatever reasons. Maybe you've fallen on hard times, your business is not doing as well as before, or you've even lost your job. Possibly your finances are not in the place that would allow you to give, we join with you in your prayer that God will make all grace abound to you by increasing your finances to the place you can give.”

    The man who said that was Loren Larson. It got me to thinking about the truth behind giving and what Paul said about it. He said give according to the purposes of your heart. 2 Corinthians 9:7 reads "You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” Add that to the scriptures above. It should become clear that giving is a relational act between you and God, not something that anyone in the so called church can dictate, mandate or deceive you into doing.

    I said all of that to say this. What Loren said pricked my spirit and brought back a true occurrence to my memory of some years ago. A congregant of a certain church we were attending was in desperate times and came to the church office for help. In other words, benevolence in the way of financial support. Her need was assigned to one of the assistant pastors and the first thing he did after hearing her need and informing her he would get back with her was to research her data to see if she was "tithing". REALLY!!! She came for financial support, how could she have anything to "tithe" with? Refer to the scriptures above about that. Of course, she was denied based on the fact she was not a regular "tither".

    Is that how it works? Not according to scripture. Paul instructed them to take up a collection for the saints. 1 Corinthians 16:1-3. He didn't instruct them to bring their money to a brick and mortar building so a panel of individuals can decide how to spend your gift. For instance, on the "building program", or "mission trips", or to pay another evangelist to come and preach. NO. It was a collection for the saints. Study Galatians 6. It reveals how we should give and treat those in need. 

    Finally, I will direct you to my post on "Tithing" parts 1 and 2 on this blog. If you truly study it and are willing to put the truth of scripture above your own opinions or false teachings about tithing, you will be set free from "The Tithe that Binds". Those last four words in quotes are actually a title of a book written by Rory Moore and I highly recommend you get it and read it. Grace and Peace.