Monday, March 31, 2008

This week I'm going to post some thoughts on giving, here's part 1, "Urban Legends About Giving"

This week I'm going to post some thoughts on giving. Most of the thoughts will be borrowed from a great website called generousgiving and my personal stories will be of course, mine. (and true) Don't ever forget, you cannot out give God!


I’m Not Required to Give
It’s my money. I earned it.
It is a common idea (especially in America) that a person has absolute authority over his own stuff. But the reality is very different. The earth is the Lord’s, and everything in it (Psalm 24:1). Whatever we have has come from the Lord’s hand, and only indirectly by our earning (1 Chronicles 29:14). Our wealth belongs to us in the same way that a child’s bedroom belongs to the child. The room actually belongs to the parent, but the child is given temporary, accountable charge over it. This is even more so for Christians, who have been bought at the price of Jesus’ death (1 Corinthians 5:20). Our lives and all our stuff is utterly at the disposal of the God who bought us.


My giving is a private matter between God and me, no one else.

In our culture, a man’s checkbook is no one’s business but his own. In a similar way, many Christians say that their giving is a private matter, information to which only God is privy. They point to Jesus’ admonition in Matthew 6: “[W]hen you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing.” But Jesus’ words here have to do with our inner motives for giving (to please God rather than men), not a privilege of privacy. Any time you find yourself insisting that some part of your spiritual life is nobody else’s business, it may be a warning sign that you are trying to hide something. We should keep in mind that the Lord Jesus gave his life not primarily to secure a private relationship with each of us, but to make for himself a church of people consecrated to him (Ephesians 5:25). And this church shares a mutual responsibility for the spiritual growth of its members (Galatians 6:1-5), including our use of money. This means that Christians should be honest and accountable with each other about how we handle God’s money. So my giving is actually between God, me, and my Christian brothers and sisters.