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the gospel and giving

Churches use different words to talk about the same thing: giving, offering, stewardship, tithing, contribution.  Regardless of the word we use, many churches struggle to effectively define the underlying reason of why we give.

There are many valid reasons:

  • God commands it.
  • Giving promotes generosity.
  • Stewardship encourages intentional living.

Perhaps the best reason is one that Paul gives in 2 Corinthians 8:7-9 …

“But since you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you — see that you also excel in this grace of giving.  I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.  For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.”

According to Paul, we should excel in giving because it aligns with the gospel of Jesus.  Just as Jesus was generous towards us (for your sake he became poor), we should model a generous spirit with our finances.

When it comes to giving, vision matters.  So does obedience.  But only if the vision is tied to the gospel and the obedience it requires from us.

If we pastors spent more time explaining the gospel, we might have to spend less time asking for money.  When you truly understand the gospel, you will be generous and not just with your finances but with your entire life.