How much should I give?
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” – this is the instruction the Apostle Paul gives to the Corinthian Christians concerning giving money to the church for God’s mission. (2 Cor 9v7).
So what is clear, and what is not so clear? Well, its clear that the expectation is that “each one should give”. Giving is for everyone, not just for those who are rich or those who have something left over. Its for you, for me, for everyone.
What’s not so clear here is “how much should I give?” Well, the answer seems simple: “Give as you have decided in your heart to give”. Do you interpret this as “give whatever you want” or “whatever you feel good about”? Surely this is totally inconsistent with any other spiritual discipline in the Scriptures? And then there is another big problem: Our hearts themsleves, about which Jeremiah reminds us that “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? (ch 17:9 NLT)
If your heart is wicked or sick (from hope deferred) or hardened, it is not going to lead to God honouring giving (or any other ) decisions. Our hearts need a lot of help to make good God-honouring decisions. So here are three ways that we can hep our hearts make God-honouring giving decisions, which I look at in my last weeks sermon called “The Heart of Giving” here:
- Guard your heart
- Guide your heart
- Give your heart
This giving instruction in verse 7 is followed by one of the most incredible promises in all of the New Testament:
“And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” Or as the NLT says it: “Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.” (2 Cor 9v8)
I trust that this message about “The Heart of Giving” will really help you to bring order and faith to your finances, and clear confident direction to your giving. God’s purpose is that you are “blessed to be a blessing!”
In addition also see the links below for more:
- 5 Truths about the Tithe: In the message I also mention my personal convictions about tithing, and you can see more on this topic in my mini series on “5 truths about the Tithe” here on YouTube
- Hammersmith Congregation Annual Finance Report: Also, you can see our Hammersmith Finance Report by Alex Lugt last Sunday on video here, which includes a slideshow of some of the things we’ve been up to over the last year.