Can I Afford to Give an Offering?

by Mike on March 3, 2010

“The only investment I ever made which has paid consistently increasing dividends is the money I have given to the Lord.”
- J.L. Kraft, head of the Kraft Cheese Corporation

When mapping out financial priorities, some may ask “when is the best time to start giving?” Is it after the debt is paid off, when your financially secure, when the retirement is fully funded or when it feels right? I submit that giving is not a priority that should be based on your convenience, but rather it is a matter of the heart. The Bible does not tell us to give once we’ve reached a certain financial milestone, giving is a sacrifice that when approached with the correct attitude is done out of love.

And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.” (Luke 21:1-4)

A mite is a Roman coin that was worth the least amount in that day. This woman made a sacrifice, and even though numerically it may not have been considered much, Jesus said she gave more than all. Her giving was not regulated or motivated by her net worth. Her giving was a testimony of her trust and love for God.

It All Belongs to God

Say this with me: “It’s not my money…It’s God’s money!” Everything belongs to the Creator!

Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me. (Job 41:11)

This mindset shifts our giving from self-centered to God-centered. It’s no longer a question of “can I afford to”, but rather….”God, this is your money, you’ve entrusted me with it…now, what would you have me to do”

“Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7


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{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevin@OutOfYourRut March 3, 2010 at 7:25 am

There are so many sins and temptations that can separate us from God, but money seems to be the one with some sort of special power. We hate letting it go in general–except of course to gratify ourselves–but to literally give it away (our human interpretation) with no immediate promise of reward is a huge hurdle, but one we all have to cross over at some point.
.-= Kevin@OutOfYourRut´s last blog ..Wasting (Money) Away Again in Margaritaville =-.

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PF Journey March 3, 2010 at 7:42 am

So true! The love of money is the ROOT of all sorts of evil. Think about how many sins stem from the love of money…

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Forest March 3, 2010 at 9:25 am

Whether you are Christian or not these words ring absolutely true!!! I currently live in Egypt and a lot of upper class people blame the poor for a lot but you would be surprised just how giving and self sacrificial the poor are! I have been literally force fed whilst walking through a slum because I looked warn out!

In Islam (I am not Islamic btw, I have interest in all faiths and ideas) it’s advised you give 12% of your earnings to good causes….

Thanks,

Forest.
.-= Forest´s last blog ..Get Over The Fear Of Cooking At Home… =-.

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PF Journey March 3, 2010 at 11:19 am

Forest,

Thanks for that insight. Giving is not a custom limited to the US but rather something that should be part of our human nature.

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Forest March 3, 2010 at 11:32 am

Absolutely :)
.-= Forest´s last blog ..Get Over The Fear Of Cooking At Home… =-.

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Patrenia March 3, 2010 at 10:37 am

This is all so true! Through my time of paying off debt, I didn’t use that as an excuse to stop giving. It actually prompted me to give more because I knew the more I sowed, the more I’d be blessed.

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PF Journey March 3, 2010 at 11:19 am

Amen! Knowing the promises of God will definitely help us keep our priorities in check

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Peter March 3, 2010 at 10:49 am

One thing that changed my whole perspective on giving was when I realized that God doesn’t need our (His) money! Giving is is for our own good, it causes us to have a heart change, and it can be an act of worship. Giving makes us into better people!

When my wife started regularly tithing, it was amazing just how good it felt, and just how much God blessed our act of giving!

So – give your tithe folks – it’s for your own good!
.-= Peter´s last blog ..Ways To Make Extra Money Series: 5 Simple Ways to Create Income =-.

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PF Journey March 3, 2010 at 11:26 am

Giving is indeed for our own good! I’m reminded of the “monkey trap” where the animal gets caught simply because he can’t let go. Sometimes we can become like that with money….holding onto what isn’t ours to hold onto….essentially becoming trapped. When if we would just let go we’d be free.

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Joe|kickdebtoff.com March 3, 2010 at 11:02 am

One thing that we found very helpful is putting the tithe as part of our budget. As peter pointed above, is is for our good that we should learn to give. Sort of unclenching our fists as an opportunity to receive God’s blessings. Statistically though when one get in debt the first item that goes is the tithe.
.-= Joe|kickdebtoff.com´s last blog ..A New Car or A Used Car? =-.

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Jolyn@Budgets are the New Black March 3, 2010 at 11:51 am

Excellent. Post. I can’t tell you how timely it is for me!
.-= Jolyn@Budgets are the New Black´s last blog ..Calling All You Number Crunchers and Personal Finance Gurus (or just anyone with an opinion): Would You Sell Your (Empty) Rental at a Loss? =-.

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PF Journey March 3, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Jolyn,

Thanks great to hear!

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Deacon Bradley March 4, 2010 at 12:13 pm

Great post Lakita! This is great advice to everyone, not just those trying to get out of debt. I’ve been debt free and able to tithe freely for years, yet lately God has been teaching me a lot more about giving! It’s tempting for me to look to my emergency fund for security instead of trusting God. That attitude makes giving freely much much tougher to do because of the fear factor. The story you cited of the widow who gave her last two coins is a great illustration of the level of faith we need to have in God!
.-= Deacon Bradley´s last blog ..Five Keys to Great Goal Setting =-.

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PF Journey March 4, 2010 at 2:42 pm

Deacon Bradley,

Yes, this is universal! Not just for those struggling with debt. I think often we think….if I had more then I would give. I love the quote by Rockefeller that says something to the effect of if I didn’t tithe off my first $100, there is no way I’d be about to tithe off my first million (paraphrased)

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Jason @ Redeeming Riches April 14, 2010 at 9:37 am

When we truly see the greatness and the generosity of Christ in the gospel – that He lived the life we couldn’t and died the death we should’ve – our heart’s response should be one of radical generosity…it’s the least we could do to show our gratitude and worship to the one who was completely generous with His life!

Great post!
.-= Jason @ Redeeming Riches´s last blog ..What Is Your Credit Card Payoff? =-.

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PF Journey April 14, 2010 at 11:20 am

I love the way you put that! Radical generosity = cheerful giver. The Greek interpretation of “cheerful” is where we get hilarious. That is the type of attitude we should have!

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Joe Plemon April 14, 2010 at 3:20 pm

Kita,
I like this quote from your post, “giving is a sacrifice that when approached with the correct attitude is done out of love. ” Giving is done out of love because God is molding us into His image, and He is the greatest giver ever…He gave His son…out of love! It is a humbling thing to think that when we give, we are becoming more and more like God himself.
.-= Joe Plemon´s last blog ..Airstream Saga Continues: Jan and I Second Guess Our Decision =-.

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Christina April 18, 2010 at 8:31 am

God loves a cheerful giver..Amen to that. Another great post.

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Riki Chan March 14, 2012 at 9:03 pm

Hi Kita,
I’m a student from Singapore American School and also a God loving Christian. I’m currently taking a personal finance class and we learn the many ways to save money and live a financially secure life. I go to Calvary Chapel Fellowship and giving offerings has been a problem for me. It didn’t make much financial sense to give money away for no real return. But the advice you give is a great reminder that it all belongs to God. We can be so caught up in saving money but we have to remember that it is all God’s and we have to give back for the many blessings He gave us.

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