It is Sabbath afternoon and I am sitting here pondering the idea of Sacrificial Giving. Have you ever noticed that in the New Testament that when it comes to the issue of MONEY we as humanity seem to be stretched by God beyond the 10% (tithe) of the Old Testament?
“And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well.” –Matthew 5:40
“Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.” –Matthew 5:42
Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” –Matthew 19:21
“And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.” –Mark 12:41-44
“And Zacchaeus stood and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor. And if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I restore it fourfold.” And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, since he also is a son of Abraham.” –Luke 19:8, 9
“And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.” –Acts 2:45
In the above scriptures we see at the very least that sacrificial giving seems to be encouraged, if not expected. I wonder though how many of us actually sacrifice? And by sacrifice I mean “go without” in order to give to another, or to give to God through the church.
Some questions I have? Can someone consider themselves a sacrificial giver if they purchase NFL Sunday Ticket? Can I consider myself a sacrificial giver since we bought a brand new Honda Odyssey Minivan? I am just wondering what sacrificial giving really looks like? These aren’t rhetorical questions I am struggling through these thoughts. Is sacrificial giving the moment I “feel” the giving? What if someone is a miser and giving away a dollar is “felt” by them? Is sacrificial giving taking the time to pause the moment I want something and asking can God if He can use this money for other more important things, and when He says, “yes” as He I am sure often would I then sacrifice my wants for the greater good? Is sacrificial giving based on what we have or what we would have if we weren’t so wasteful with our money? In other words is a person in extreme debt off the hook for sacrificial giving, or do they need give based on what they could have if they had used their money in a God honoring way in the first place? Anyone come to a conclusion in their own life?
I know for Christina and I it is not 10%, just tithe, though I am sure for some it is. But 10% for Christina and I wouldn’t even be thought of at the end of the year. So it is more…but how much more?
Here is where I am at right now with this. Let me know if you think this is right or wrong, or if you have a better thought I would love to hear it!?
I try to give now where I have to think about it! And ask the questions I am asking. The moment I get comfortable with what I am giving, we are giving, I think that is the time to give more…that is how we are going about it at this point in our lives. If I don’t feel stretched and I don’t even think of the amount I am giving anymore and ponder it, then I need to raise the bar on my giving.
What do you think? Maybe someone out there has read some things on sacrificial giving. I am open to your wisdom! Please share!