Jesus talked a lot about money. He said that our attitude to money, how we view it and how we use it, is an indicator of what is going on in our hearts. Being ready to give gladly and generously to God’s work is first and foremost a response to his generous work of grace in our lives. It is a key part of our commitment to be disciples of Jesus so it’s good to take time to think about our giving.
We are truly grateful to God for the way in which he has provided for all that we do here in the Parish of Nursling and Rownhams. We are also thankful for the way in which members of the congregation commit themselves to regular giving, not just financial but also in time and talents. As we review our giving, here are five principles that the Bible teaches us about our giving.
Joyful. God loves a cheerful giver. When we think about all that God has given us, we realise that we don’t need to give reluctantly or just out of duty. We can give with a sense of joy and excitement knowing that God can use what we give for eternal purposes.
Proportional. We often think of giving in terms of a percentage. The Church of England encourages people to give 5% of their income. Other Christians follow the Old Testament pattern of tithing (giving 10%) of their income. But the Bible points us to proportional giving—those with more give more. 10% may be too difficult for some and not very significant for others. It may be helpful to start by giving a percentage and then looking to increase that regularly.
Sacrificial. If there is no element of sacrifice to our giving, then it is hard to see how this brings honour to God. The more we discover of what God has done for us the more we will be ready to make sacrifices to honour him.
Planned. The Bible teaches us to give in a planned and regular way, not just on impulse. This may mean setting aside time to think and pray through what we can give, and then planning carefully to make sure it happens.
Secret. This guards us against pride and is why we keep giving confidential.