By: Barry G. Allen- President & CEO
What is your attitude toward giving to your church and to other Christian ministries? Do you find yourself sometimes giving grudgingly instead of cheerfully? Is your attitude affected from time-to-time by fear or greed, or a concern for how your church or charity will use your gifts?
As you begin the New Year, let me encourage you to get a lesson from the Apostle Paul on the proper attitude toward giving. In his famous love chapter, 1 Corinthians 13, Paul contended it is love alone that counts, love alone that triumphs and love alone that endures. The love about which Paul spoke to the Corinthians then and to us today is the agape kind of love, the caring love that expresses God’s nature and that He extends to us undeserving creatures. It’s God’s gift; we cannot earn or gain it; we receive it in response to His love in Jesus Christ. It comes not through self assertion, but self surrender. It evokes faith that in turn evokes love. It is centered on concern for others. To follow the way of love is to follow the very nature of God Himself, for God is love.
Therefore, God’s love should define our attitude toward giving. He wants us to give cheerfully, prompted by love and in response to His giving.
In 1 Corinthians 13:3, Paul shows the relationship of love to giving and to deeds of goodwill. He clearly stated it is possible to give and to do good deeds for some motive other than love, and when we do, we gain nothing; in fact, such giving reflects selfishness, not love.
Starting now, each time you give visualize placing your gift in the nail scared hands of Jesus, who loved you enough to die in your place for the forgiveness of your sin and that you might have life abundant and eternal. And, give thanks to Him for His unending love and for the privilege of participating with Him in reconciling the world unto Himself. In so doing, your giving attitude will be much more than an act of charity; it will be an act of worship.
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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.