“Give” is a four-letter word when it comes to the context of church and money - and for good reason. There have been so many scams, reports of frivolous, extravagant uses of tithes, pastors preying on the ignorance of poor widows, financial scandals in the church, and the list goes on and on.
With that said, I wonder if our call to “give” of our money to the cause of the local church is suppose to be swayed by this? Do the actions of an unfaithful few excuse us from what the Bible calls us to? I would hope the answer for all of us would be a resounding “No!” but from most reports I’ve read, the answer is more of a “well… maybe”.
This blog is for those in the “well… maybe” category.
I remember my first run in with the ignorance of Christians and giving. It was my Grandma. She was a widow, loved Jesus, and I am forever grateful for her prayers for me as I can honestly say they never ceased. That said, she was not very wise when it came to giving. She got caught up in the indulgences of the modern Christian world. She bought prayer cloths that came with “answered” prayer for whatever her heart desired, anointing oil that came with financial blessings beyond your wildest dreams, and gave thousands of dollars with promises of tens of thousands to come from God himself. The end result: she was in debt and unable to pay her bills. My parents had to bail her out with the promise that she wouldn’t give to the televangelists anymore. This type of giving isn’t what Jesus calls us to and instead resembles people playing their checks at the slots with the promise of a “jackpot”.
"If you are in the “well… maybe” category, then the problem might not be the church, or even with giving, but with how Jesus has called you to live."
This begs the question, how do we give biblically?
1. Use wisdom
Giving comes down to trust. If you don’t trust who or what you’re giving to it can hinder your consistency. Sometimes a simple search into how they use money can overcome that. This might involve a little legwork and intentionality on your part, but it’s worth it if the other option is to stay in limbo.
2. Give towards your passion
We do this anyway. The things we invest our time and money in are almost always what we are passionate about. Jesus says it this way, “Where your treasure is there your heart will be also” (Mat. 6:21). It’s possible that you haven’t connected the dots yet so let me do it for you. Jesus came from heaven to live, die and rise for you. He saved you from your sin and changed your eternal destiny and, if that wasn’t enough, He sent His Spirit to seal, empower, and guide your life. He did this because he loves you. In other words, He is passionate about you. Wouldn’t it be logical then to be passionate about seeing others experience the same thing? That’s why we give.
3. It is commanded in scripture, so it’s not a matter of “if."
Giving towards what God is doing in your local church is non-negotiable if you are a Christian. (see 2 Cor. 9:7. There are hundreds of verses that talk about giving, but if your convictions about scripture are right, you only need one) The principle of how is listed in Scripture. It is based on your income (1 Cor. 16:2), it is done with joy not guilt (2 Cor. 9:6-8), and it is sacrificial (based of Christ’s sacrifice for us). If you are in the “well… maybe” category, then the problem might not be the church, or even with giving, but with how Jesus has called you to live.
4. New beginning
The good news is we have a Savior that is forgiving and has already given enough for us so that we don't have to. Jesus fulfilled the law IN FULL, thereby giving us freedom from guilt and shame. Biblical giving is a RESPONSE to the goodness of what Jesus has done for us, therefore we fund the local church so that the proclamation of that good news can be shared with others. Click
and start today!