On Giving…

“Bear one another’s burdens, and in this way, you will fulfill the law of Christ.” Galatians 6:2

“You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Matthew 19:19b

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.” Luke 6:38

Why do we give, or rather, why is giving so emphasized in the Christian faith? We give because we serve God who is the exemplar of giving. God loves to give, and God gives abundantly. God is not stingy but extravagant in God’s giving. We give because we are called to imitate God. So, we give of our time and our talents.  We also recognize that part of the imitation revolves around giving of the resources we have, which includes the money we earn.

Giving a portion of what we have, helps us to rely on God to meet all our needs. In giving away what we have we make room for what God wants to give us. We don’t give because we think God will give us more. We give because again we follow the example God gave to us. We give because in giving we offer to meet the needs of people who are unable to meet their needs. I think of all those who are living on the West Coast of Florida in the Ft. Myers area especially. If people didn’t give, they would have no way to meet the needs they have right now with no way to get the resources they need in order to clean up from Hurricane Ian.

When we give, we help to increase our own faith. Our giving makes the statement that our faith does not depend on an abundance of material goods. We have learned the lesson of enough and have learned we don’t need as much as we think we do. We can live on less so we can give to those who have less than we do.

We give because giving helps us be less selfish in our own lives. We offer what we have in order to support our churches, other non-profit organizations, and charities who do good works that help people have better lives. We give because we recognize that not everyone has had the same opportunities that we have had.

We give because giving requires us to put our trust in God. My Mom has often shared how God has worked in her life through her obedience to giving to the church. There have been many times when she was tempted to not give her tithe, and yet she did. Even on those times when she knew there was not enough money to pay the bills. Funny thing…at the end of the month, we didn’t have extra, but the bills all got paid. Every. Time. What she began to see is when she paid our tithe first, she always had enough to pay all the other bills. Always.

We give because, it teaches us the value of enough. We don’t hoard. Anyone who has lived in Florida before a hurricane understands how devastating hoarding can be when we try to go out and get the necessary supplies for our families. Hoarding leads to waste because we can’t use as much as we buy. Hoarding leads to full landfills or homes so  packed with stuff we can’t move through them.

I have found that when I give, I feel rich. Which seems ironic since I have just given money, or goods away. In this season of harvest where we plan and prepare the budget for next year, I encourage you to trust God in your giving to the church. You will be blessed beyond measure.

Peace,

Pastor Beth

BTW – Tomorrow is election day. Don’t forget to vote!

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