The Privilege of Giving

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As Christians, we must examine our hearts about tithing and giving. Do we see tithing as a legal, compulsory act to appease an angry God or as a free, optional and voluntary expression of honor and love for a loving Father?

“And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.” (2 Corinthians 8:1-4, NIV)

It’s common practice in the marketplace for companies to give to charities and support various causes. Many companies write checks and encourage their employees to follow suit during Christmas or times of crisis and catastrophe. Employees take time off and put on aprons and take turns in serving lines at local food banks, or pass out turkeys on Thanksgiving. In the verses above, Paul shares the powerful testimony of the church in Macedonia in the area of giving. Paul tells us that through God’s grace they rose above severe trials and extreme poverty to a place of rich generosity. They went so far as to plead for “the privilege of sharing.” Another translation says they begged insistently for the opportunity to give. In the next chapter, Paul urges the church in Achaia to copy the heart of the believers in Macedonia and to be cheerful givers because God loves a cheerful giver.

As Christians, we must examine our hearts about tithing and giving. Do we give reluctantly and begrudgingly or willingly with excitement and joy? Do we see tithing as a legal, compulsory act to appease an angry God or as a free, optional and voluntary expression of honor and love for a loving Father? Is our giving an expression of our heartfelt gratitude and appreciation for all that God has already given us and continues to give us on a daily basis? Do we understand giving is a way to express our love to God? Do we understand that giving transforms our own lives and helps us rise above our individual challenges and limitations?

Child of God, if you struggle with giving to others, I encourage you to ask God for a “heart transplant” replacing your selfish and indifferent heart with a loving and compassionate heart. Take your place in line with the saints of Macedonia. Be a cheerful giver who begs for the privilege to give!

Lord, thank you for the privilege to show you my love and honor through my tithes, offerings and gifts to others. Lord, I know that I can never out-give you. Through the blood of Jesus and in the name of Jesus I pray, amen.

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