Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Pastoral Answers About Giving

Photo credit: penywise from morguefile.com

Giving to the church and God's work around the world has always been a passion of mine. I was raised in a family who values giving and I was taught this from a young age. I also believe it's biblical. But now that we are on the receiving end of financial giving, it is a whole new adventure, one that is constantly challenging, humbling, and clothed in prayer to the One who is the Ultimate Giver!

I recently stumbled upon an excellent article written by Kevin Miller, priest at Church of the Resurrection in Glen Ellyn, IL. The church is in the midst of a giving campaign to raise funds for a new building (their first building, actually), and Kevin has been approached by church members and attenders with many questions about giving. In the blog article, He does an excellent job of addressing common questions about giving money to the church, questions that I think everyone asks or wonders about.
  • How do I decide how much to give?
  • I want to be stretched in giving, but I have lots of debt to pay off. What do I do?
  • What if I want to give more but my spouse wants to give less?
I would strongly encourage you to read the article, especially if you are thinking and praying about How God is leading you to donate your funds. Kevin's responses to these questions is biblical and thoughtful.

Here are some quotes that stood out to me from Kevin's thoughts on giving...

"[Giving is] not sparing but generous: 'Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously' (2 Corinthians 9:6)"

"You should be able to say of your gift: 'I chose this. I wanted this. I wasn’t manipulated or guilt-ed into it.'”

"I do not advise waiting until your debts are fully paid off before giving to God. You need to give for your spiritual health, for your connection to the church, and for your own dignity."

"It’s in this kind of decision where married people learn how to do what Paul said: 'submit to one another' and to 'bear with the failings of the weak.' What I’ve seen is that when couples bring this spirit to 'how much should we give?' they end up closer to each other."

How is God challenging you to be stretched, but also prudent in how you use your funds?

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