When most church-goers think about giving, the first word that typically pops into their mind is “the tithe”. This is what most people feel is their duty, and often times, they will faithfully give that 10%. Yet, we see throughout scripture that our Lord calls us to give with our hearts, and this can sometimes mean stepping out of that 10% boundary in BIG ways!
The challenge here is to think of giving as a journey, not a destination. Your giving should continually reflect the attitude of your heart, and your dependence on the Lord.
When we first become believers, at some point, someone has instructed us that giving or tithing was required, or the right thing to do. Chances are, we began with an attitude of reluctance. I remember as a child growing up in the Lutheran church. They would pass around the wooden offering bowl that had a red velvet lining on the bottom. My mother would instruct me to place my quarter in the tray, and I did so, but with reluctance. My heart wasn’t necessarily in the right place, I was just giving because I had to.
As faith grows, you begin to acknowledge that what we are really doing is returning a portion of that which belongs to the Lord. Therefore, our attitude changes and now becomes one of obedience, and reverence to our Lord. At this point in the journey, we are usually still calculating a percentage and faithfully and obediently giving. We must become careful, because many get stuck here in their giving journey without venturing any further.
At some point in your life, someone might begin to challenge your thinking to step out of the obedience box and really get a hold of the concept that ALL of what you have belongs to the Lord, and the freeing part of the journey begins when you begin to give more than a calculated percentage. You venture into the area of giving beyond what may be considered “normal”. When you take this serious step of faith, you will experience joyful giving. It’s a sort of emotional high from becoming part of the financial leg of a ministry or church relay team. You are no longer concerned about percentages or calculated tithing; it’s more about joyfully helping and using your financial talents to serve.
Soon – almost automatically, you become passionate in your giving journey. No longer does that cap on the deductibility of charitable giving matter as your accountant prepares your income taxes. You begin to see things through different, heavenly- bound eyes. You are a “cheerful” giver (Greek translation, HILARIOUS giver) enjoying the process no matter how upside down it may seem to the world – and oh, does God LOVE a cheerful giver. You consider your earthly balance sheet and compare it to your heavenly one. The heavenly one must be stronger. You start to think about the amount of inheritances to be left to family members. You sense the urgency of God’s work in this world, and you act to help get it done!
So I challenge you ladies the “purse strings” and the “heart strings” are in your hands. Get control of your spending, save and invest wisely, and ultimately accomplish great things in the area of Passionate Giving! Your Heavenly Father can’t wait to tell you, “well done…good and faithful servant”.
By: Carin Amaradio