The Art of Giving for Christians
5 Reasons Why We MUST Give as Christians
As Christians (especially in the Orthodox Churches) one of the most disputed teachings (and very often misunderstood) is the issue of GIVING. Many people tend to believe that this issue is over-flogged and the attention given to it should be minimised and others think the misconception is from the manner in which the Pastor's and Ministers go about the teaching as though it is a do-or-die affair. What I have tried to do here is to present a brief and straight-forward set of nuggets... For reference purposes, consider the following texts: 2 Corinthians 8:1-12; 2 Samuel 7:1-16; Malachi 3:1-10; Acts 10: 1-15; 2 Chronicles 1:1-7; Haggai 1:1-15
In order to fully understand WHY we must give, let us address the misconceptions. Whatever one does for the Church or for God should be done with the right attitude. Here is a list of the kind of attitude (when giving) that brings no reward:
1. DO NOT GIVE AS THOUGH YOU ARE DOING GOD A FAVOUR: Some people are fond of giving in Church because they feel that they are trying to help God do God's work so they are giving for the work of God. That is a wrong attitude to adopt. It attracts no reward.
2. DO NOT GIVE WITH THE MINDSET THAT THE PASTORS WILL EAT IT: Your Shepherd in Church deserves to be blessed from time to time because they that work in the vineyard are to eat from the vineyard, however if you consider that they are eating your money it will hinder you from giving with a free heart, thereby making it difficult for you to receive from the Lord.
3. DO NOT GIVE TO IMPRESS THE CROWD: Some people are fond of giving just to be seen of men as being righteous and generous. It is a wrong and dangerous way to give. The applause of the crowd will be the ONLY reward you will ever get!
4. DO NOT GIVE BECAUSE YOU WANT SOMETHING IN RETURN: Sometimes we want to be Elders, Deacons and what-nots in the Church and we try to "buy" our way to these positions and awards by giving generously in order to call in favours when it is time for the selection of awardees. It is a very wrong reason to give.
5. DO NOT GIVE BECAUSE OTHERS ARE DOING SO: There are people who like to follow the crowd in order to be counted among the number of "happening" people. It is wrong to give because others are doing so or because it is in vogue - you might just get burnt along the line.
So then, WHY should we give? Are there reasons to give other than these? The money or whatever it is we give, will it not be useful in Church even if we give it the ways listed above? Of course it will be useful TO THE CHURCH but not to you. When God says we should give, He means for us to have a blessing in return therefore He has created opportunities for us but we have introduced LIMITATIONS by thinking shallowly. Oh! The wonderful blessings that exist for God's people when they learn to RELEASE their seed in order to CREATE their HARVESTS!
1. WE GIVE BECAUSE IT IS A COMMAND FROM GOD: He wants us to understand that we are putting ourselves at a disadvantage when we refuse to learn how to give so He gives us a command. When a Father sees his son turning away from the right path to the wrong one, more often than not he gives him instructions to lead him to the right path. God is commanding us to give - it is the right lifestyle to live.
2. GIVING HAS A SURE REWARD: All through the pages of the Bible we see the rewards that giving brings; even in our everyday lives, we hear the testimonies of people that caught the Giving rhema and developed their Giving mentality - they got astounding rewards...
3. IT SPEAKS ON YOUR BEHALF: In ACTS chapter 10, Cornelius' giving mentality was so consistent, it challenged the Almighty God. Here was a pagan (an idol worshipper) whose giving spurred God to send an Angel to show him the way of salvation.
4. IT PROVOKES THE UNEXPECTED: In 2 Chronicles, Solomon's giving provoked God to ask him to name anything in request. He asked for wisdom and God gave him much more than he expected to receive. His father, David, in 2 Samuel 7:1 expressed a DESIRE to build a temple for God and his earnest and sincere desire provoked God to establish a covenant relationship with him and his offspring! Think about it.
5. IT IS PART OF WHO WE ARE, WE CANNOT CONTINUE DENYING OURSELVES: The Bible says we are made in the image of God, created to be like Him and He so much loved us that He gave His best gift (His Son) to us. If we are like Him, then giving is part of us and we should not deny who we are.
There are many more reasons but we must realise it is not really the SIZE of the gift but the VALUE that matters. Secondly, it is not the AMOUNT but the CONSISTENCY that provokes the unusual. Worshipping God is not a one-off thing and GIVING is an ACT OF WORSHIP therefore it should be done consistently.
God bless you.