It is tax season. It’s the time to pull out our W-2s and our 1099s, to gather our interest reports and our charitable donation documents. We sit down with our tax software or our accountant and hope that we gave enough away to help off-set the taxes we owe.
Why do we give to the church anyway? It’s got to be more than just for a tax deduction. Is it because it’s a good way to help the poor? Is it because the Bible tells us to and if we don’t, we are sinning? Is it because we’re supposed to?
Yes, the Bible encourages us to give, but it’s much deeper than a simple command.
Giving to the church is not about guilt
In fact, the Bible doesn’t want us to feel obligated to give. 2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (emphasis mine)
Giving to the church presents an opportunity to be faithful in the little things. We can make the decision to be faithful in the little things.
Why not instead choose to be different than the world? Decide today that you are going to be more intentional with your money and think of the Lord first.
Giving to the Church is not about the church being greedy
Instead it’s about learning the value of contentment. One of the great lessons in life is learning to be content with whatever state you are currently in. Hudson Taylor said, “Small things are
small things, but faithfulness with a small thing is a big thing.”
Contentment can do so much good for your soul. The apostle Paul faced it all (including being beaten half to death) and in the end said that he has learned to find contentment in any situation.
1 Timothy 6:6 states, “Godliness with contentment is great gain.” John the Baptist, said to be the greatest man who ever graced the earth, wore animal fur and ate grasshoppers. Your life is as rich as you want to make it. Contentment is a choice.
Giving to the Church is not about it preying on vulnerable people
Instead, by giving money, we learn to hold loosely to everything.
In the book of Ecclesiastes, King Solomon mentions several times how stressful life can be for those whose life’s goal is the pursuit of wealth or riches. Is it wrong to have nice things? Certainly not. But those who are consumed with wanting more live a stress-filled life. If you can learn the value of holding loosely to what you have, the pressure will begin to roll off your shoulders. Holding loosely does not mean you live flippantly and do not take careful consideration for what you have. It means that you recognize that it is all God’s to begin with anyway.
Giving to the Church is not only about caring for those in need
Instead, we learn to trust God by giving to Him. This ultimately leads to greater joy in our lives.
God set up the institution of the tithe to help His people fully trust Him in providing for them. He uses it, also, as the way the church provides for its leaders. In Numbers 18:21, The Lord explained what was to be done with the tithes, “I give to the Levites all the tithes in Israel as their inheritance in return for the work they do while serving at the tent of meeting.”
In Israel, He also set up a system to care for those in need by letting them glean from the fields after the harvesters. He cares for those in need, but our giving is not purely a pragmatic way to take care of the poor.
It’s Your Choice
Giving to the church is a private matter between each individual and God. While God desires us to be in relationship, He doesn’t demand we give a certain percentage of our income to Him. What He does ask is that we trust Him, and He will show us His faithfulness.
Much of this post was inspired by SeedTime.
Gianna Kordatzky has been a part of the First Free family since 1997. She graduated from Northwestern College (now University of Northwestern–St. Paul) in 1999 with a B.A. in youth ministry which prepared her and her husband, Chris, to raise four amazing kids. She is one of the founders of Family Fun Twin Cities and the Moms in Prayer leader for Bel Air Elementary in New Brighton. Gianna is passionate about serving families whether she is volunteering with New Life Family Services in St. Paul or overseas at the ELIC conference.