Yesterday we talked about money in church. I know a topic that isn’t often talked about in church. We feel uncomfortable and awkward talking about it. I think this is because it’s been talked about poorly in the past, where giving gets tied to guilt and other wrong motives. But on Sunday we sought to look at giving tied to grace.
We looked at 2 Corinthians 8 to discover how Paul deals with money. Here, there is the Corinthian church that hasn’t given what they’ve pledged. Paul rather than coming down hard, judging, and using guilt to motivate, he talks about grace and God. In fact he says, “Let me tell you a story of grace…” In this story of grace Paul tells about the Macedonian church and how they gave and experienced joy and God’s presence. He talks about how they gave what they could as a response to God, not as a response to guilt or judgement.
Paul in his story of grace is trying to change the Corinthian church’s heart. He’s not trying to guilt them into giving, but instead trying to inspire them through grace. Because the Biblical perspective is that when giving is tied to guilt and legalism it quickly dries up, but when giving is tied to God and his grace, giving never ends. The point isn’t really how much you give, but the heart you give with. Giving is important, blessing others matters, but your heart behind the giving really matters. Is your heart like God’s, generous, open, and appreciative?
Jesus says that the Pharisees who gave a tenth of every part of the income still get it wrong because of mixed up motives and desires (Matt. 23:23-24). The Pharisees did the right action but not with the right heart.
So where is your heart today? Why not be generous and give to someone today out of a grateful heart. Consider all that God has done for you, and find a way to bless someone today. When you do this you might just find yourself like the Macedonians…full of joy…and taken care of…
P.S. Since money is an important conversation we’re committed here to not only be seeking to excel in generosity and grace, but also good stewardship. So if stewarding finances or debt is a struggle we have partnerships, and great people who are here to help us steward what we’ve been given well. Let us know if that’d be a help and we’ll help you make a connection.