Giving Questions

Giving Questions

questionRecently someone from our church asked me a set of giving questions to be used in a lesson series we are doing.  I thought they would make a good mini post.

Q: Is it responsible for me to give money to the church when I’m in debt?

A: Yes, our calling from God to give to those in need and support the work of the gospel is not contingent on how responsible we were with our money.  So being in debt does not release us from that calling.  It is not responsible to live a lifestyle that promotes indebtedness, however.  We all have areas we where we can cut corners I don’t think a Christian can cut giving before cutting all else.  Here is a great quote from CS Lewis on the idea:

 I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.  In other words, 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 would like to do but can not because our charities exclude them.” CS Lewis, Mere Christianity.

Q: If tithing is “religious,” and if we’re not about “religion,” then why am I pressured/challenged to give?
A:I am not sure how to answer this.  I don’t believe the “tithe” applies to the church.  I don’t even like using the term because of the baggage associated with it (I also don’t like the negative connotation of religion but that is another story)  We give because God calls us to do so.  We challenge and pressure one another in all areas of Christian life.  Maybe the question should be why is this the one place people feel they shouldn’t be pressured?  We challenge one another on reading scripture and other areas of sanctification so why not on giving as well.  The Bible is pretty clear that how we handle money is sign of our discipleship.
Q: What if my spouse and I can’t agree on how much to give?
A: For the sake of this answer I will assume both husband and wife are professing Christians.  My wife and I rarely agree on what to give when we first talk about it.  Normally she is high and I am low and we compromise in the middle, in this way God uses her to sanctify me away from my selfish and idolatrous attitudes toward money.  This kind of conversation is going to happen many times in a marriage.  If there is disagreement then the couple should explore the “why” behind their answer.  For me I am conservative because I grew up thinking money would answer all of my problems, so I like having it in the bank.  I find security in money that I should only find in Jesus Christ.
Q: How do I balance giving and saving (for Retirement for example)
A: This is a challenge that is going to need to be faced over and over again in ones life.  We should all remember that retirement is NOT a biblical concept.  The only promise of rest is found in Christ not in this world.  If we are hoping for a life of ease and luxury we may be putting our hope in the wrong place.  That being said I think living a simpler life can allow us opportunity to do both; save and give.  We will not be able to “have it all in this life” and be obedient to the sacrificial life God calls believers to.  I would refer again to the CS Lewis quote above.  If it doesn’t hurt you probably aren’t doing it right.

About the author

Jason administrator

Jason is the founder of Considering Stewardship he has a passion for helping people to steward all of their resources as gifts from God. Time, money, and Talent.

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