“But just as you abound in everything, in faith and utterance and knowledge and in all earnestness and in the love we inspired in you, see that you abound in this gracious work also.” – II Corinthians 8:7
What is the “gracious work” referenced in the above verse? It is giving. Think of it for a moment: Paul puts giving (and here it is referencing the very practical aspect of financial giving) on the same plane as faith, utterance, knowledge, earnestness, and love.
What do you feel when the offering basket comes around, or when you receive a request for charitable giving in the mail or on the phone?
Sometimes, you undoubtedly give gladly; you truly understand that this is God’s grace at work in and through you.
Sometimes, you may resent the call on your checkbook; giving, but giving reluctantly and grudgingly.
Sometimes, you may look guiltily away; you have the money to give, but would rather keep it for yourself.
Sometimes, you may not even feel a twinge of conscience as you let the opportunity slip away, too caught up in yourself to even notice.
Giving – even when times are tight and money is scarce – is an outward demonstration of the grace of God at work within us. “Just as you abound in everything … see that you abound in this gracious work also.”
When is it easy for you to give? When is it hard?
How do you decide how much to give to the church and to other philanthropic causes? What criteria do you use?
Earnestly consider: is your giving in line with Scripture’s teaching?