Stories of outrageous generosity move us. If you watched Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and saw people in need have their homes completely redone without charge (and shed a few tears), you know the importance and impact of giving. Similar things happened in the early church after they encountered the risen Christ. At the end of Acts chapter 2, we see that “They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.” Nearly everyone would agree that a life of faith should include substantial giving. However, giving can be difficult for us for a number of reasons. Many stem from misunderstandings about God’s desire for the role of money and possessions in our lives.
Jesus said more about money than anything else, including heaven and hell. Faith and prayer are very important, yet there are twice as many verses about money than either of these topics. Why? There is an intimate connection between money and spiritual transformation. Proof of that internal transformation is demonstrated by how we handle our money and possessions. In Matthew 6:19-21 Jesus said, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
Unfortunately, many of us were incorrectly taught about giving, and have an “outside-in” approach. We are pressured to give out of guilt, external pressure, or because someone said giving was what “good” people did. A distorted view of money by both churches and attenders perpetuates the problem, which is why one of the top reasons for not attending church is “they only want my money.” The church where I grew up even published donor names and amounts given from highest to lowest. You can see how messed up a non-Biblical approach to giving has become.
What’s the solution? Like the other aspects of living our faith, it has to start on the inside; an “Extreme Makeover: Spiritual Edition” if you will. We must understand that the money God has blessed us with is all His, and we are the stewards (managers) of His resources. Learning what God has to say about managing His money (Biblical stewardship) will slowly transform us and move us toward selfless generosity that is all about Him. Giving that is INSIDE-OUT results in outrageous generosity. If Christians understood and acted in step with Jesus on this single issue, the world would literally be transformed. Hunger, poverty, homelessness and a host of other issues would be a fraction of what they are today, and God will get all the credit. If we are to truly live our faith, we need to request an extreme makeover and develop an eternal perspective on giving.
Click here for an in-depth review of Biblical Stewardship.
Click on each for printable worksheets:
- Monthly budget
- Budget analysis and percentage guide sheets (including an example family)
- Total Assets worksheet
- Total Debt worksheet
Related posts: The Love of Money
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