There are many that get fed up with hearing appeals for help or feel that the donations are not being spent wisely and withdraw support. If that is you, I want to challenge you to decide what you think is a fair amount to give to the church you are part of.
There are times when you will be moved to give simply because you became aware of a situation that you can respond to. Most often, someone will tell us about a need or ask for help and we will decide if we are going to do something to help.
There was a local church that heard from one of their pastors about another congregation experiencing extreme poverty in another part of the world. Even though they themselves were quite poor, they were moved to help and began a fund to be sent to their needy brothers and sisters.
Unfortunately, people started talking and spreading lies about the pastor who had made claims about the needs of the distant congregation and so people stopped giving. This is the story of the church in Corinth responding to Paul’s appeal for the church in Jerusalem. There were troublemakers who were spreading lies about how Paul was getting rich from the offerings he collected for the poor.
Nothing could be further from the truth, but people stopped giving based on hearsay and misguided opinions. So Paul writes them to give them direction on how to decide what to give. The wisdom still stands for us today.
If you have grown stingy about helping, what does that say about the condition of your soul? We will thrive internally when we make room for the generosity that is waiting inside us.
Because we are made in God’s image, we have a potential for generosity that is most often untapped. As Paul writes to the poor church people in Corinth he encourages each one to take time and think over what to give.
Paul resists the idea that people should be shamed or emotionally coerced into helping out. You need to make up your own mind because it is your soul that is called upon to participate in God’s mission.
While judgment awaits anyone who manipulates and takes advantage of the poor, God’s favour is with the rich and poor who develop a generous heart towards others. Take some time in your life and decide what you will commit to. Do not drift along and wait until a heartfelt appeal is made. Decide without anyone pressuring how you will consistently practice generosity. Then when the emotional appeals hit you, you will already have a developed heart for giving more.
If you are still holding on to 10 reasons why you shouldn’t give, look for the one reason that you should. God wants you to prosper by learning to give excessively more than 0.56% of your neighbours.