Read: 2 Corinthians 9:7 |
A mother wanted to teach her daughter a spiritual lesson. She gave the little girl a quarter and a dollar for church. “Put whichever one you want in the collection plate and keep the other for yourself,” she told the girl.
When they were coming out of church, the mother asked her daughter which amount she had given. “Well,” said the little girl, “I was going to give the dollar, but just before the collection the man in the pulpit said that we should all be cheerful givers. I knew I’d be a lot more cheerful if I gave the quarter, so I did.” [Bits & Pieces, February 4, 1993, p. 23]
The offering period during worship service is a Holy time. Satan, however, seeks to make the experience hellish. He devilishly starts by perpetuating misguided opinions about our finances, the offering itself, our church and/or our Pastor. If he cannot quite convince us to give nothing at all, Satan then tries to steer us towards the opinion that “I’ll give, but I’ll give when “I” want to give and what I want to give!”
Reason – I give when I want to give
We live under the New Testament free-will offering, it is not a mandate to give, so give me some space. I do not want to feel forced, cajoled, boxed-in or brow-beaten into giving my offering – it is a religious turn off!
After all, God granted me stewardship over what He has given me, right? Therefore, trust me to give back to Him in my own time. In fact, while I am ranting, do not ask me to sign a pledge card to say how much I will give to the Building Fund or other Church projects. I will give when I am good and ready!
Besides, I think that my giving is a private matter between God and me, no one else. After all, didn’t Jesus say in Matthew 6:3 “When you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing?” [See spiritual interpretation in the next section]
So, why are you trying to make me feel bad? I know that I should give. I do give! I just give what I want, when I want!
Matthew 6:3, noted and misinterpreted in the prior “rant”, actually speaks to our inner motives for giving and not our privacy while giving. The “your” in the verse is possessive and speaks of “your” left and right hand, not the Church’s hands and your hands. Our inner motives are more of a concern to God than the amount we have to give.
After all, God does not need our money!
Our money and checkbook, however, do act as a thermometer revealing how much of our heart belongs to God. He desires that we submit our heart and mind to Him and yield to the direction of the Holy Spirit.
Pastors, led by the Holy Spirit, may ask for pledge cards or special offerings to fill needs that God has placed on their hearts. As a member of the church, we should prayerfully and cheerfully, give as God guides us.
The slippery slope is that if we are not careful, we may not ever really “feel” that God is guiding us to give a free-will offering. Subsequently, we do not sense the Holy Spirit’s guidance.
When lacking divine assurance for our free will offering, pray and seek guidance. Ask Him to clearly reveal what we should give and when. The Holy Spirit will hear and answer our prayers. He will grant a peace of mind that passes all understanding. [Philippians 4:7] Once He answers our prayer, then keep praying for the strength and the faith to obey His will. [Galatians 6:4-5; 1 Chronicles 29:14]
God loves cheerful givers who willingly align their hearts to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. Keep praying and work toward the spiritual standard that David wrote in Psalm 54:6 “I will sacrifice a freewill offering to you; I will praise your name, O LORD, for it is good.” (NIV)
- I don’t believe the Tithe is Biblical for the New Testament Church
- I’m afraid to trust God with my offering
- I don’t know where the money is going
- I don’t agree with where the money is going
- I don’t trust the Preacher
- I think the Church is always begging for money
- I give elsewhere
- I give when I want to give
- I only have a little to give
- I don’t have anything to give
1. Discover –
A. Are you on-board with what the Holy Spirit has put on your heart to give as an offering?
B. How do you reconcile any differences you have with the Holy Spirit on what you give and when you give?
2. Develop –
A. Do you hear and hearken to the gentle whispers of the Holy Spirit when He speaks to your heart? Have you ever ignored the Holy Spirit? How did that turn out?
B. How do you feel about pledge cards? Do you sign them at the recommended amounts or what approach do you have? Share on the forum.
3. Demonstrate –
A. Have you received a raise on your job in the last year or two? Did you give God a raise in your offerings? Why or Why not?
B. How does your Christian walk reflect that you are a “cheerful giver”?