4.09.2010

Cultivate Generosity

I recently read one of the saddest reports I've ever read. It stated that only 3-5% of U.S. Christians actually tithe on their income. The Biblical definition of tithing is to give 10% of your income to support the work of the Lord. (A much higher percentage gives a lesser amount though.) However, we're called throughout the Bible to give a tenth.

Let me ask you a personal question. What's your attitude about tithing or charitable giving? 2 Corinthians 9 tells us that God loves a cheerful giver. Why is this important? Can't he just be happy that we're giving regardless of our attitude? Actually, no.

I think too many Christians view tithing as just another duty to God. But God's intent is not to collect dues, it is to help us cultivate a spirit of generosity and grow our faith. This is something that I think we can all get behind. Nobody wants to be stingy. We would all like to think of ourselves as generous people, right? And who doesn't want to be MORE faithful?

April 15 is coming up and the IRS is busy collecting taxes. Can I admit something? I have NEVER written a check to the IRS with a smile on my face and a warm feeling in my heart! In fact, the emotional response is usually pretty negative. I hate paying taxes! Don't get me wrong--I understand the benefit of paying taxes. I know that we get many great services and our quality of life is better because of our taxes. But that doesn't change the fact that it still feels like highway robbery.

On the other hand, I've never written a tithe check in anger. Why? Because it feels good to support what God is doing around the world! In fact, I love getting that giving report from the church at the end of the year. Not because of pride, but because I'm always amazed that we were able to give away so much on so little! That report is a tangible reminder of God's faithfulness. When we bless God, he blesses us! The money goes a little further. The appliances last a little longer. Bargains occasionally land in our laps. God provides!

We don't suffer a lot of persecution in the U.S. and I believe a result of that is that our faith is untested and weak. However, I think one of the best ways you can test and grow your faith is to grow your generosity! Take the abundance that God has blessed you with, and turn it into an exercise in faith. Make a commitment to live with less, so God's Kingdom can do more. You'll never regret it. It may not be easy or comfortable, but you'll never regret it!

Proverbs 11:24-25 (ESV)
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;
another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
and one who waters will himself be watered.

1 comment:

Sandros said...

Jeff, I like your blog seems cool.

I recently connected with Jesus and I can tell you that it is in a way an experience of enlightment.
I felt as I was given a gift of easily interpretating the bible and it being easily readable. and people around me took notice of that, except my parents who are "christians" but when they think it comes to an advantage being a "christian". It was for the first time in my life that I fell in wholehearted honesty to God. and he redirect me by just showing me early in the morning.

I was being happier until my oarents wanted me to fly with them and it was to get me with my cheating ex wife, that really messed me up and even fasting didnt change my parents, my dad actually was against me and till this day sabotages me going to school.he says "dont worry too much, God will later on provide for you, help your family and later you are young can do that , you dont have to go to school, Im your father biblle says you are going to obey or you are against your family" So there is truisms in that he says and Im 33 yrs old have one year left to be a doctor and he tries to use me and sabotage from me moving forward.

I prayed and cried and the enlightment disapeared when EX Wife thing and not only do I need God, I need guidance.Its sad that some people grow up in "christian" families and leave God dude to ignorance of parents lacking real spirituality connection with God, as I have experienced.

I felt like I lost that gift and Im trying to recover it.

Great Blog dude,

Best,

Sandros