What would a church do if they received significantly more than they had budgeted for by October? What if they exceeded their budget by $100,000 on October 5th? Would that church put out a call to the congregation to stop giving? In the same way that we send letters near year’s end asking for an increase in giving, would that church send a letter declining any further gifts? “God has given us our budget plus way more so we’d like you to keep your money and stop giving to the church for now.” I don’t think so.
In Ex. 36:6, the people had been so generous in their giving that the leadership had to stop them from giving more. They had made and then given so much for the mission they were accomplishing (building the Tabernacle) that they didn’t have need or even room for more.
In our culture of “more”, we are never going to turn down giving. We can never have too much – we can always use more. But are we asking people to give toward a ministry with a set cost or are we simply asking them to give to God? These are two very different purposes for giving and both hold to a different view of God.
If we are giving to a budget, then we begin thinking that God needs us and our money. We begin to think about the power our giving gives us, and linking the amount we give to the amount we should be receiving. If, on the other hand, we are giving to God regardless of budget, then our giving is a thanksgiving practice, a matter of worship, and about what God has given us, not what we can give to God.
Jesus talked about money more than any other aspect of life besides loving, so it’s worthwhile for us to contemplate our own giving. Why do you give what you give to church? What is the attitude, the worldview, and the Godview behind your giving?
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