a number of us at threshold recently completed dave ramsey’s financial peace university – a 13 week course on getting out of debt and building wealth. i hope it was helpful to everyone who participated. i know that michelle and i are on a clear path to being debt-free within the year!
the final lesson of the course was about giving, and i thought that i would share some bullet points from this lesson that we should all keep in mind:
1. we are all asset-managers for the Lord. so if we view things properly, it’s not our own money that we are spending. we are managers – not owners – of his money, and the way we use it reflects our relationship with God.
2. because we are created in God’s image – and God is a giver – we are happiest and most fulfilled when we give.
3. giving is an act of worship, and an act of spiritual warfare.
4. faithful christian giving means giving a TITHE – 10% – off the top, to our local church. this is the biblical model. additional offerings out of our abundance can and should also be given to the charities of our choice, but offerings are different than a tithe. they are above the tithe and come from our surplus.
5. do not give expecting anything in return. God’s promises to bless faithful tithers, but those blessings are not necessarily financial blessings.
as you know, at threshold, we do not receive tithes and offerings during worship by passing a plate. however, giving is always an act of worship. we have three bowls in the worship space, so that you can give to the Lord within the context and setting of worship, while at the same time allowing it to be a private matter between you and God. over the years, many have suggested that we would receive more money if we passed a plate. but that misses the point. giving is an act of worship, not coercion. God doesn’t want or need your money if you gave it just because someone was looking over your shoulder.
at the same time, God does call you to give. it is an act of worship and a reflection of your relationship with him, your understanding that he is the giver of all things.
your giving should be done regularly, prayerfully, and joyfully.
i have heard it said, “you can’t outgive God.”
more importantly, i have experienced it.