Why do we give?
God has given each of us gifts – our time, our talents and our ten pound notes. When we pray over the collection we sometimes recite this Bible verse:
‘All things come from you, O Lord, and of your own do we give you.’ (1 Chronicles 29.14).
We know that all that we have and all that we are belongs to God. So when we give back to God it helps us to remember to be thankful for God’s graciousness to us.
Also, Jesus told us to put our trust in God and not store up treasure on earth:
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:31-4)
Giving our time, talents and money is a spiritual discipline, it helps us to remember to trust God for our well-being and it reminds us that we have given our lives to serve God and to serve others.
Our ability to give is something that happens as we walk our spiritual journey, both as individuals also as a church. This cannot be forced and happens gradually as we grow into the love of God and find ourselves able to trust God.
How should we give?
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each person should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor 9:6-7)
The apostle Paul stresses the abundant nature of God’s giving towards us so that we may give abundantly in response.
The Old Testament commanded a tithe (10% of income). The New Testament is far more radical: we are to be generous givers of all we have.
The Church of England recommends that we give 5% of our income to the church and 5% to other charities that we support. This is a target to aim for – not a demand – and for some it is unrealistic.
We need to think carefully about how we can serve God in the most effective way. Some people have no money to give, but give generously of their time instead. Others are giving too much money and should consider reducing how much they give.
It’s easy to give for the wrong reasons – to give out of guilt or legalism. If we can’t give joyfully then it is not yet right to give our time, talents and ten pound notes!