Skip to main content

Urban Legends About Giving, Part 5

I don’t owe the poor anything.
God teaches us that we do in fact owe the poor, although not in the way we might think. In God’s economy, serving those in need is serving him, and failing to serve those in need is failing to serve him (Matthew 25:31-46). Romans 13:8 says to owe no debt to others except love, and Jesus teaches that loving others means caring for them in the same way we would want to be loved. How would we want to be cared for if we were poor and needy while others were rich? Clearly, we would want help getting our basic needs met. If this weren’t clear enough, Jesus makes the same point in story form in the parable of the Good Samaritan. In short, providing care for the physically and emotionally wounded; being a parent to an orphan or unwanted child; providing job training and economic empowerment; and providing emergency relief after famine, war, disease and natural disasters are all possible aspects of the Christian’s debt of love. That is what we owe the poor.

Giving would chip away at my investments, and that would be bad stewardship.
Giving would deplete my savings, and that would be bad stewardship.
Giving would subject me to tax liability, and that would be bad stewardship.
It is both wrong and unnecessary to set the different components of godly stewardship against one another. These three objections share a common theme. God does indeed want us to be good stewards (Luke 16:10-12). And good stewardship certainly can include high return on investment (Luke 19:12-27), saving for the future (Proverbs 6:6-8), and the prudent payment of taxes (Matthew 22:21). But even more than any of these things, godly stewardship involves generosity. It is easy to place things like our desire for a comfortable, pleasurable retirement ahead of our responsibility to give generously. But in the words of Jesus, to do so is stupid (a literal translation of Luke 12:16-26), for this present earth will not last. God has given us the kingdom and the promise that we will possess the new creation, and the fitting response is not to be stingy with what he has given out of fear or self-centeredness, but to give generously to the poor and so lay up our treasure in heaven (Luke 12:32-34). The desires to compound our wealth, save, and carefully plan our tax liability, while legitimate, do not undo our obligation to give to the Lord and his kingdom mission. God is fully aware of the state of our bank balances and the pressing cares of this world, and he summons us to give generously all the same.

If I were to give to the church, it would only contribute further to the greed and corruption among church leaders. (funny one, it would actually contribute to less stress!)
It is of course true that greed and corruption are entirely inappropriate among church leadership. But does our giving really foster these evils? For one thing, biblically speaking, we don’t give to the church; we give to the Lord. Now, it is true that the normal means of giving to the Lord is through his church. But as long as we think of our giving as mere “membership dues” paid to the church, we miss the point completely. Second, it is not our place to impugn the motives of the pastor or other church leaders. We should beware of issuing condemnations, lest we be judged in the same way (Matthew 7:1-2). In addition, the elders of the church are worthy of double honor (1 Timothy 5:17), so a critical attitude toward them is doubly inappropriate. Third, if a Christian is truly concerned that his church leaders are living in willful sin, then the thing to do is to approach them about it through biblical channels to seek their repentance (Matthew 18:15-20), rather than just angrily withdrawing one’s gifts. The question we must ask ourselves is: Do my church leaders need to repent of their greed (which is possible), or do I need to repent of my own attitude toward them (which is also possible)?

Popular posts from this blog

Decade Of Destiny- Year 3, GREATER 2014

Freedom Life 2014 Vision Video from Freedom Life Christian Center on Vimeo . Dream Bigger.  Start Smaller.  Ignite God's Vision For Your Life!  @StevenFurtick The theme for year 3 of Decade of Destiny is,  "GREATER,"  based on the best-selling book from Steven Furtick.  The Bible says in John 14:12,  "I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father (NLT)."    2012 marked the beginning of a 10 year vision for our church called,  "Decade Of Destiny."   Since that time, God has been gracious to our church as we have witnessed hundreds of people make decisions to follow Jesus, dozens more baptized and powerful ministry occur in environments geared toward children, youth, young adults, married couples and people from all walks of life.  This past year was an exciting year of INCREASE for Freedom Life.  We expanded the reach of our church by adding a

Join Our 30 Day Fast From Negative Thinking This Weekend!

Isn’t it time to move forward into the life that God has for you?   This weekend we begin a 30 day challenge that will forever change your mind and your life!  You will never have a positive life with a negative mind. Negative thoughts disrupt God’s plan, and will steal your joy, peace and contentment in life.  Over the next 30 days you will learn how to overcome negative thinking so that you can experience God’s goodness in every area of your life!  Here’s how you can be a part of this life-changing experience. 1.  Be a part of our church each week!  Join us live (Christiana or Coatesville) or online ( during this series for Bible based messages that will help you keep moving forward in your faith! 2.  We're encouraging each person to wear a rubber band on their wrist.  Why? Well, the rubber band will serve as a visible and physical reminder for you to learn to patrol & control your thoughts.  Pausing and considering the implications of n

HABITS 21-Day Challenge

Commit 21 Days to building new habits into your world to help you grow in your faith! Millions of Christians have grown older without ever growing up; they act as though spiritual growth is automatic. They may have a plan to save for retirement; they may have a plan for sending their kids to college; but they don't have a strategy for enriching their souls. Make the decision to invest into your life! Here's a simple plan for you to put into practice to help you GROW to a Whole NUTHA Level ! Remember, You don't choose your destiny. You choose your habits and habits define your destiny. Choose well and join us! H = Hanging Out With God Having an consistent time with God through prayer, bible reading, silence and solitude, memorizing scripture, etc. Matthew 4:4, says,  "But Jesus told him, “No! The Scriptures say, ‘People do not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.”   Recommended Step:  Sign up of the Freedom Life 21 days of