A Word on Giving
Now regarding your question about the money being collected for God’s people in Jerusalem. You should follow the same procedure I gave to the churches in Galatia.. On the first day of each week, you should each put aside a portion of the money you have earned. Don’t wait until I get there and then try to collect it all at once.. When I come, I will write letters of recommendation for the messengers you choose to deliver your gift to Jerusalem. And if it seems appropriate for me to go along, they can travel with me.1 Corinthians 16:1-4
If we understand this and other scriptures on the subject of giving, there are 6 essential components to Scriptural giving.
- Thoughtful, and therefore intentional Paul instructed the churches to plan their giving. This prevented hastiness and the ensuing lack of order that poor planning creates, so that giving was orderly, and the funds were ready to be used appropriately. We ought to consider what our intention is in giving. What prayers, hopes, and motives accompany it? What needs are we addressing? Do we see it as an act of worship toward God as we support the work of His ministry?
- Accountable We should also note that Paul also thought it best for the funds to be delivered by people from that church., which ensured that a full accounting could be made for the funds and how they were used. As a very wise man once said, a clean conscience has no fear of accountability.
- Proportionate Paul tells the church to set aside a portion of the money they have earned, not all of it. While there may be times people can make a sacrifice, Biblical examples of such are always voluntary (Luke 21-1-4, e.g.). Therefore, we should comprehend that giving should be in proportion to our ability (Deut. 2:7, 2 Cor. 8:11, e.g.).
- Prayerful If giving is part of our worship, then it ought to be approached prayerfully, that the Holy Spirit wold guide us, and that we remain mindful of needs we may be able to help meet. This is also to safeguard our motives in giving, that it be done with a pure heart. Remember, the sacrifice of the wicked is abomination to the Lord (Proverbs 15:8).
- Cheerful Each person should do as he has decided in his heart — not reluctantly or out of compulsion, since God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make every grace overflow to you, so that in every way, always having everything you need, you may excel in every good work . (2 Cor. 9:7-8, CSB) This doesn’t mean we should try to be happy about our giving, but rather that we should give as we are able so that we can be cheerful about it. His yoke is easy, and His burden is light. In this Scripture we can see God’s graciousness to us even in our responsibility to give, that He doesn’t desire to lay heavy burdens upon us, but intends for us to have joy in giving as we grow in grace and ability.
- Responsible Givers should be informed about the characteristics, motivations, capacity, aspirations and needs of the organisations they are giving to. They should consider the impact that their giving will have and the outcome it is meant to achieve, and pray that grace is given for the funds to be used wisely and well.
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