Financial Principles of Giving
Some Principles of Giving
It is first of all important to understand that the Lord owns everything anyway. Psalm 24:1 tells us that, "The earth is the Lord's, and everything in it." The principle is that because we are really only "managers" of what God has entrusted to us; we are responsible to care for it as He would have us to. With that understanding, here are the principles for giving as I see them from the New Testament:
We should give faithfully (1 Corinthians 16:2). We should give on regular intervals. This verse says on every Lord's day. If someone gets paid twice a month, of course they can choose to give twice a month. The issue is to be faithful or regular about our giving, not sporadically.
We should give generously (2 Corinthians 8:1-3). These saints were in poverty and persecution and yet, they were committed to follow what the Lord had taught them about their resources and they were eager to give even more than they were able. This is a matter that each person/family should individually take before the Lord and ask Him what generous means for them.
We should give proportionately (1 Corinthians 16:2) & (2 Corinthians 9:7). We should each give an amount that corresponds to the amount of money we make. We each must make up our own minds what that amount is. We should each give an amount that honors Christ as well.
We should give sacrificially (2 Corinthians 8:1-3). These people, once again, gave beyond their means. Giving should be costly to some point. What is there in life that hasn't cost us something? God's work is worth our sacrifice and in every culture, there is no more tender spot than our pocket books.
We should give cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7). God doesn't want people to give of their resources if their hearts are not in it. He doesn't "need" their money and it doesn't want give people opportunity to complain. So, if a person doesn't want to give, they shouldn't, but they will have to take it up with the Lord (Malachi 3:8).
We should give strategically (1 Corinthians 16:2c). We should each put aside an amount before we come to worship. It should be a thought out amount instead of giving because of a plea or out of guilt because the basket is being passed by.
Here is another way to look at Giving
1 Corinthians 16:2 gives us four principles, that if followed, will make giving a very cheerful worship to the Lord.
On the first day of every week each one of you is to put aside and save, as he may prosper, so that no collections be made when I come. 1 Corinthians 16:2
1. Giving is required of each person! "...each one of you...". Giving isn't an optional form of worship for Christians, it is a privilege and a responsibility, it is a tangible manifestation of that persons love for God. What a person gives is their personal business, but they need to be sure they are giving and conferring with God "...before whom all things are naked and laid bare." (Hebrews 4:13)
2. Giving is to be proportionate! "...as he may prosper." There is no law or command found in the New Testament that binds a person to the amount he has to give. This is radically different from the Old Testament where approximately 22 % of the Israelites yearly income was required. A man is to give "...as God has prospered him." This may mean giving any percent (5%, 8%, 12%, 30% or 51% etc.) depending on the individuals case. It may also mean a variation in giving from year to year. The key is to give as God has prospered you.
3. Giving should include amounts beyond our normal giving! "...put aside and save..." The scriptures tell us that in addition to our regular giving, we are each to lay up, heep up or treasure amounts in private, not public deposits. When needs arise in our church or in your house church, the believers now have a treasure in which they can distribute to specific causes as the Holy Spirit directs.
4. Giving should be consistent! "On the first day of every week..." Giving should not be erratic but consistent. The believer should do his giving every week during the Celebration. This should not become ritualistic but neither should it be taken lightly.