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By Mike Stickler
1 Corinthians 16:2
On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
When you consider your generosity and your giving to God, do you feel like you have a pretty good sense of how to please God in this way? You can easily see it going at least two different ways.
- Some might give next to nothing and then pat themselves on the back thinking they really did a great job.
- Others might give a vast amount; but feel guilty that they haven’t given enough, pleased God, or made Him happy.
There are many other types of people that might exist beyond these two scenarios; but it’s an important question: What does God expect of us in terms of our giving?
As a lesson from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian Church, in today’s verse Paul discusses the administrivia of a donation he wants them to make. What I find spiritually valuable is where he says, when you take this offering, you are to set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income. That means, give to this offering in proportion with the money (or other resources) that God has given you.
There are so countless reasons this is valuable. Here are just a few:
- First, we see that God isn’t comparing you to other people. This is NOT a competition. He knows you and your particular situation and He understands what you are doing when you give.
- Second, this also gives direction to people of every walk of life – each of us can find help in this. God isn’t so much concerned with the amount you give, as He is that you be faithful in proportion to what He has given you.
When you give, don’t be anxious if it doesn’t feel like you are able to give as much as other people. It’s not about what other people give. Give faithfully from what God has given you. And, if from there you desire to give even additionally, do so. Yet, don’t do so out of fear or guilt; but give out of love and thankfulness.
Today’s Generosity Challenge:
Over dinner tonight, open the conversation with this question: "In keeping with our family income, what is the right percentage of giving we should follow?" But, before you respond to the question, be prepared to justify your answer! What did you learn? How did their answers reflect their hearts and yours? Are you all aligned when it comes to giving? Or is there much to be done?
Write down what you learned in the comment section below. Share with us.
About Michael Stickler
Mike is an author, radio host, and a highly sought after motivational speaker. His best-selling book, A Journey to Generosity, is widely acclaimed throughout the Christian community. He is the publisher of Generous Living Magazine and writes for the Christian Post, 'A Generous Life' column.