Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Give 'till it Hurts!

CS Lewis once said, in his marvelously British accent “If our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot because our charitable expenditure excludes them.”

With this statement Lewis has provided us with a characteristically eloquent definition of sacrificial giving. In other words, give till it hurts. But why? What is the benefit of this type of giving?

When we tithe to our church or give to a charitable cause, the decision we have made is about so much more than money. It’s about trust and faith. If the amount we give is so small in comparison to the amount we have, how is that leading us to trust? However, when we give beyond what is comfortable, we are saying to the Lord that we trust him to fulfill all of our needs. We’re putting our faith in his promises.

One of my favorite verses about giving is found in Malachi 3:10, “Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!”

Giving is about the heart. Notice in the following verse from Paul’s Second Letter to the Corinthians where he says the decision to give comes from..

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

Take some time today to examine your heart. Ask God to clearly show you whether your giving is done sacrificially and cheerfully. Pray that he will help you to have the trust it takes to hand everything, finances included, over to him.

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