Sunday, February 7, 2016

What Is The Best Standard Amount For Charitable Giving?

Some people and some churches say we should give a certain percentage such as 10% or 20%, or even more. Did Jesus give his followers any guidance on how much they should give?

It is recorded in Matthew 10.

"Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received; freely give." Matthew 10:8.

These words are from the instructions Jesus gave to his followers when he sent them out to preach.

This is a list of Apostolic miracles, and generosity is elevated to the same level and is included as a guiding attitude. This statement of giving freely is an exclamation mark that sums up all of the instructions.

The phrase, "freely you have received, freely give," is directed to those disciples and their specific mission on that occasion; but the principle transcends time and place, and applies to us today.

The point is obvious that they were not to charge for the work they did in the name of the Lord; they were not to make a profit out of something that God gave them freely, instead, they were to be generous.

Some in the church quote, "I will not give to God that which cost me nothing," which is a reference to King David's sacrifice to stop the plague in 2 Samuel 24:24.  But Jesus' disciples were to share freely the blessings they were given freely.  They were not just to do good but to do it with the attitude of unrestrained generosity.

There is not a set rule to follow like a ten percent tithe; this is an even higher standard- it is to give without restraint or hesitation. It would say, "I have been greatly blessed so I will greatly bless. I have been given much so I will give much."

We each have been given more than we know. We have blessings and resources of many types; some have money and some have talent, skills, time or gifts. We all have life and every heartbeat is a gift. If we count our blessings with an open mind and reflective spirit we would see we have been given much in many ways. Since we have received much and we should give much. 

Jesus gives the instruction to give freely and that is the strongest reason but it is supported by many truths. 
     * It is morally right to give freely. 
     * It is an appropriate expression of gratitude. 
     * It is the correct way to honor the giver.
     * It is noble.
     * Society respects it.
     * God rewards it.
     * It reflects God who freely gives blessings to us.
     * It models Christ to those who are witness to it.

Maybe you cannot raise the dead and drive out demons but generosity is just as powerful. Be thankful for the blessings The Almighty has given to you and rejoice in the opportunity to be a blessing by freely giving.

* * * * * 

Thank you for visiting this blog. I hope these thoughts are helpful for you.

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Beyond These Dark Lands
Are Edges Of Joy
Words of Comfort and Hope
Poems by A.E. Dozat © 2018
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(c) Adron 2/7/16

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