We’ve all been told, and you may even believe that it is better to give than it is to receive. That’s what we know. That’s what we say.
Quite often, however, what we know and say does not match what we do. Consequently, we have a church full of people who don’t know the true joy of giving the way God shows us is better. Oh sure, we may give our donation (I dislike that word). We may even give in ways that don’t involve money. The impact, though, is not in how much or how often we give. It’s the attitude we have when we give that is important.
That’s why the Apostle Paul reminded us that God loves a cheerful, or a hilarious giver.
At least that’s what I said in this week’s sermon.
I don’t know that I emphasized the more joyous point, that when we give with a cheerful heart, God rejoices and is blessed. God isn’t interested in us learning how to give money (or any other kind of gift) to him. I think God is much more interested in us learning to trust in God and to learn how to give money (or any other kind of gift) away to others who may need it.
When our attitudes reflect the gift of God’s grace in our own lives, it doesn’t matter how much we have to give. We give freely. Too often, I hear people’s idea that once they begin making a certain amount of money they will give regularly or more faithfully. I want to recall some of Jesus’ words about being faithful with little. That is an almost understandable approach to giving. What tends to happen, though, is that the more we slowly begin to make, the more we begin to spend or keep for ourselves. Mo money. Mo problems. Mo bills.
I consider the tithe to be a biblical standard, that we begin our giving at 10% of our income. That comes out in my sermons and studies. I can’t see that I would ever encourage someone to not do that. Still, I don’t make it a mandate. Paul said we should give as we have decided to do. All I would like to do is remind you of the blessing we are missing and are taking from others and God when we don’t give with a hilarious heart.
Here’s my sermon from this Sunday I hope it’s a blessing.
P.S. If you find yourself upset or disturbed by me speaking about money, that may be what the FBI calls a clue. 😉