There is one subject that will arouse more opinions, arguments, and tempers than any other. No its not religion, politics, or sports–its money. More specifically,your money;what God thinks about it, what the Bible says about it, and what you allow your preacher to say about it. All sorts of questions come up: Is tithing New Testament? Do we tithe off the gross or the net? Is tithing an Old Covenant practice that we are “no longer under?” Does God need my money? Does God want His people to prosper? What about impoverished people all over the world? Guess what,I am not going to answer those questions here. At least, not entirely ,and certainly not to the professional debater’s satisfaction.
Why does the Bible talk about money and giving? Jesus said it well: “Where your treasure is there your heart is as well!” (Mt. 6:21) The propensity of the human heart in relation to money is fear. In fact, fear is our default response around money. That is why so many Christians immediately launch into combat mode when talk about giving erupts. Let me prove it to you. When we have money, we fear losing it. When we don’t have money (or enough) we fear getting it. Now,if your’e honest you will probably agree.
The power of Mammon is fear. How do we break that power? Through giving; it works every time! You see, God wants all of our heart and when we let money become a stronghold in our heart through fear and greed, then He is diminished in our lives. That fear doesn’t seem to diminish ,whether we are rich or poor. Jesus is the one who said we can’t serve two masters. So, every time I give ,I am declaring to heaven and earth, that I trust the LORD as my Provider. I declare that Jehovah Jireh is the best bank or investment that I could put my trust in! One of my friends says it like this, “We live to give and we give to live!”
I am not going to promise you an upgrade in your lifestyle, wealth without work, or supernatural elimination of debt. What I will absolutely guarantee you, is that every time you make this declaration of trust in God you will walk in truth and grow in trust. The power of fear (related to finances) will be weakened and your heart will become freer! That freedom alone is worth it.
Do I believe giving makes a difference in my current economic state? Absolutely! The joy of freedom is worth more than all of the promises of a return on giving,in this life or the age to come (Although I’ll certainly take both!). One verse (2 Cor. 9:7) ,instructs us to be hilarious givers. It’s that joy that comes from giving that motivates us. While some wait to “feel the cheerfulness”, I think that’s about as dumb as getting divorced when you “fall out of love,” or not forgiving someone until you “feel forgiveness” in your heart. Our hearts follow our actions. Purpose in your heart to give, and give extravagantly!
A person who is free from fear is unstoppable…more on that next time!