Thursday, October 4, 2007

Your Money and Your Life #11: Give More of Your Wealth … but how much?

OK. Be generous. But how much should we give? You got me. I suppose since God wants to form us with our giving, one size doesn’t fit all. But CS Lewis has some good ideas – he has that way about him. CS Lewis’ rule in Mere Christianity for giving is that you should give more than you can spare. If you are able to live at the same standard as those who earn as much as you, you probably aren’t giving enough. It needs to “pinch” us. There should be some things we want or want to do, and can’t, because we’ve been generous elsewhere.

Anyone eager to do this? I don’t look forward to more of a pinch than a tithe, if I can avoid it. But I also know God doesn’t want me to avoid it. I’m busy trying to figure out how to get what my neighbors have, not make sure I don’t have enough to get it because I’m giving stuff away. Who’s with me? But Proverbs is clear. We’re to be generous with what God has given.

This “pocket” from which we give is where we give to missionaries and other charitable causes – or different funds within the church, like the camp fund that blessed so many kids last week. Or even random needs of friends, family, or people you meet on the bus or at the supermarket.

There are a million opportunities to give – go to the Jane’s House link in the margin. You likely know missionaries who want to get overseas. If you don’t, contact me. I’ll get you some info on them.

Be sure to remember, though, this is outside the tithe – above and beyond the tithe. I learned this in 201 and it changed how we give. The tithe is where I surrender the 10% with no choice of where it goes as a discipline that the money isn’t mine, it’s God’s. There’s discipline in me “not having a say,” in not having control. I don’t like it, but I see how that forms me all the more. It is submission to the church leadership to spend my tithe well.

Giving (in contrast with tithing), generosity is where I’m a more active steward, putting the money in places where God specifically leads me.

What do you think about tithing to your church for 10% and giving on top of that? What are your giving habits … and why?

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