Friday, May 15, 2020

Reflections on Giving (Pt 4)


This week I have been blogging about giving. Biblical giving is done thoughtfully, freely, and joyfully. It is given in proportion to that with which God has blessed us. It is given to help others and honor God, acknowledging that he is the true owner of all that we have. Giving should also be done wisely with discernment and accountability. The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthians in 1 Corinthians 16:2-4,
[2] On the first day of every week, each of you is to put something aside and store it up, as he may prosper, so that there will be no collecting when I come. [3] And when I arrive, I will send those whom you accredit by letter to carry your gift to Jerusalem. [4] If it seems advisable that I should go also, they will accompany me.

Note that Paul wanted the collection to be done before he arrived. He did not want his ministry among the Corinthians to be about money. Second, they were to send the money with people that the Corinthian believers trusted and appointed for the job. Paul would go with them if the Corinthians thought it advisable, but he did not require it. The money was not about Paul. He did not feel the need to be involved or have his name associated with it. It was a gift from the Corinthian church to the Jerusalem church, but it was not just sent off with anyone who could carry it. It was sent with those  whom the Corinthians trusted and appointed. They were sent with a letter accrediting them. There was accountability to the gift.


Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert have written a book entitled, When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor ... and Yourself. It is a helpful read for those working in areas of benevolence and helping the poor. Giving to help others must to be done with wisdom and discernment. Just passing out money willy nilly is often more harmful than helpful.


Along with wisdom and discernment, there is a need for accountability. Church leadership needs to make sure that gifts are being used for what they were intended. We need to guard the honesty and reputation of those in charge of counting, and distributing the money. Do we have trustworthy people handling the funds of the ministry? Do we have systems in place to protect them and the funds they handle? Christian ministries should be especially careful of how we handle money and resources. Although ministry takes money, we never want to give the impression that ministry is about money. All that we do reflects on the God we serve.


Biblical giving is done thoughtfully, freely, and joyfully, not under coercion. It is given in proportion to that with which God has blessed us. It is given to help others and honor God, acknowledging that he is the true owner of all that we have. Giving should also be done wisely with discernment, and with systems of accountability in place to protect the gifts and the reputation of those we put in charge of the money. So let me ask you: How biblical is your giving?

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