"Be still and know that I am God." God ~ Psalm 46:10

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Complacency in Giving vs. Our Commitment to God

Tithing can really test our commitment to God; it also can hurt us financially ~ and I don’t mean that by giving we will have less money, but I’ll get to that in a bit.

It tests our commitment to God because, per biblical scripture, we know that giving is something he’s outright asked us to do, yet we often find it difficult to part with our time, talent, or money for the benefit of others. But if we think seriously about our faith, many of us follow God and believe in Jesus because of the tremendous love we find in him. God is over-abounding with love, and his wish is that we also are over-abounding with love. Let's see what that means.

We give to those who have less, not that we should have less, but that there may be equality. As Paul wrote in the Bible, 2 Corinthians 8:13-15 ~ “Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but there might be equality. Now, your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality, as it is written, ““He who gathered much did not have too much, and he who gathered little did not have too little.”” Why was that? Because they helped each other out.

God wants us to give generously to our church and to the needy, as Paul wrote in 2 Corinthians 8:7 ~ “But just as you excel in everything ~ in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness, and in your love...see that you also excel in this grace of giving.”

For giving to be acceptable to God it must be done willingly and cheerfully, as a sacrifice and commitment to God. We do it because we love God and all that he is to us. What this means to me is that if we don’t do it willingly and cheerfully, God doesn’t want it. Surely he’s not going to bless us if we contemptuously carry out his wishes. So, no, don’t go there, of course not.

If your church is committed to helping with community suppers, mission trips to help the poor, clothing drives, food collections, etc., they can only do that with the generous support from their congregation. Your church, in other words, you (you are your church) are living as God mandates us. As Christians, we are called to love one another. We do that by giving to the causes that support those who need it most.

When we cheerfully, willingly, because this is how we are supposed to live, give of our time, talents, and money, we bless others. Those blessings have another tremendous impact, about which many of us might not have thought. Your generous blessing leads people to God. It, in turn, causes others to be thankful to God for blessings. If others who are not as far along in their faith journey as you, see you cheerfully giving, your blessing goes a long way in witnessing for Christ, which we are also called to do. What joy there is in seeing someone turn to Christ and that God chose you to be a part of it!

Finally, I will tell you why it hurts you financially if you do not tithe or give to your church. I saved it for last because I didn’t want to make it the focus of my thoughts. So, I will leave you with this thought: when we bless others as God has asked us to do, God blesses us many times over. Consider this biblical verse: Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. 2 Corinthians 9:10-11

In this, of all things, we do not want to be complacent.

This is Part 2 of a 3-part series on Complacency ~ How it Hampers Our Faith. Click here to read part 1: Click Here And return for part 3 later this week!

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