How Does It Work?
Living in God’s generosity leads to a life of generosity with our money, our time and our spiritual life. Since God takes such incredible care of us we no longer have to live self-focused lives. Thus it will be easier for us to see ways God wants us to help others.
Remember the Macedonians who gave so much even though they were in need? Did that happen because they were committed to tithing? No. As Paul wrote, “They did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.” (2 Cor. 8:5)
Simply, they heard God and did what he asked them. It was greater than Paul could conceive. Those who are convinced that giving to God is nothing more than paying ten percent as an obligation, will never understand giving like this.
Sometimes people told me that God has led them to support us. My answer was always the same. After thanking them for their thoughtfulness, I steer them away from any regular commitment. “If God puts it on your heart to send us something this month, please do so.
If God puts it on your heart to send us something the next month, then do that. If in the following months God leads you to do something else with your gifts, then by all means do that.” Some have never given to us and some of those people has given a month or two. Hopefully they are learning a better way to give.
A Life of Giving
Each day God wants you to taste of his generous love, and then show you how he wants to channel his generosity through you to touch others. As I see it, Scripturally you are not obligated to give that to any specific location. He will show you where to give when you are led by him and not swayed by the appeals and demands of those who always claim to be in crisis.
Those who gather in more relational settings and have no need to spend significant funds on facilities, salaries or programs, often find creative ways to see God use their generosity. They give to those in need, to extend the light of God’s kingdom in the world, even to support ministry projects they feel called to aid.
They may do that together, or separately. A group was collecting offerings into a combined account to distribute it on behalf of the group. After spending six weeks disagreeing over how to distribute it, they decided to give everyone their money back and let them give as they felt led. They choose to spend their time encouraging each other’s faith instead of spending each others offerings.
Others put a specific amount of money in their wallet each month and see where God might want them to give it at throughout that month.
Notice I am not saying it is sinful to give ten percent to the group you regularly gather with if God so asks you. In fact, I think people whom God has blessed who are not willing to share the financial load of that which they benefit from might well reconsider whether or not God has called them to be part of it.
But God’s way of giving makes tithing a mere shadow by comparison. Those who discover God as the generous Father will give beyond ten percent, just by doing what God asks of them.
What’s more, because it’s not a bill they pay, but an extension of his generosity, they will give with a passion that not only transfers funds, but builds relationship as well.
Why embrace the shadow, when you can enjoy the reality behind it? That holds true for so much in this kingdom, doesn’t it?