The churches, associations, institutions and agencies of the Kentucky Baptist Convention and Southern Baptist Convention are making a difference for the Kingdom of God in our state, nation and around the world. They are worthy of significant and sacrificial support that will enhance and undergird their missions and ministries.
Perhaps you would like to make gifts above what you give out of income as tithes and offerings to provide on-going support to one or more of these causes, but you may be concerned that such gifts could affect your financial security and that of your family. There are a variety of creative giving options that allow you to “make a lasting difference” while also assuring the future financial security of your family.
As you begin these lessons, take a moment to pray for God’s guidance in this month’s study.
Week 1 – Why Should I Give?
Scripture References: Psalm 24:1a; Matthew 6:19-21; Mark 12:41-44; 1 Timothy 6:7, 9.
Please read these passages in your Bible now.
What Does the Bible Say About Giving?
The scripture references noted above remind us that everything belongs to God and comes from God. We are to be good stewards of all that God has given us. We are to use what God has given us in ways that will benefit the Kingdom of God, not just our own comfort on earth. No matter your financial station in life you can make a gift that counts because the gift that counts is the gift that costs.
Are There Temporal Benefits to Giving?
Both federal and state tax laws encourage charitable giving. There is an income tax deduction allowed for lifetime gifts to charity (this would include your tithes and offerings) and an estate tax deduction for charitable gifts made at death. If you use appreciated securities or real estate to make lifetime gifts, you will also save capital gains taxes. Life income gifts, discussed in Lesson 4, may actually result in an increase in your income.
What is “Social Capital” and How Should It Factor Into My Giving Decisions?
Our federal and state tax laws were enacted to provide an incentive in the form of tax savings for making gifts to support those agencies and institutions that are providing vital services to our communities. The government’s philosophy is that private giving does many jobs that otherwise the government might be called upon to do out of tax money. “Social capital” is that portion of your wealth that will either pass involuntarily to the government as taxes or which can be directed voluntarily by you to charitable causes. If your social capital passes as taxes, you permit the government to choose what institutions and programs will be supported. Charitable giving allows you to direct what would otherwise pass out of your hands as tax dollars to those causes and organizations that will perpetuate your highest personal values.
Directing your social capital is good stewardship. The tax savings resulting from your charitable gifts may actually leave more for you and your family to enjoy. Those savings may also permit you to give more than you ever dreamed possible.
Prayer Focus: Take some time now to pray that God will provide understanding about why you should be considering how you can make gifts above and beyond your tithes and offerings.
Next Week: Giving Out of Your Assets vs. Your Income
The information in this article is provided as general information and is not intended as legal or tax advice. For advice and assistance in specific cases, you should seek the advice of an attorney or other professional adviser.