An old church building was in horrendous shape. It needed so many repairs the preacher decided to make a passionate appeal to the congregation for help. During the lesson the preacher often looked directly at the richest man in the congregation. At then end of the lesson, the rich man stood up and said, “Preacher, I will contribute $1,000.”
Just after saying these words a small piece of plaster fell from the ceiling right in front of the rich man’s feet. He quickly stood up again and announced, “I will increase my donation to $5,000.” Before he could sit down, a larger piece of plaster fell on the man’s shoulder. He proclaimed, “Preacher, I will double my last pledge.” As he was finishing this sentence, a larger piece of drywall came down directly on the rich man’s head. This time he shouted, “Preacher, I will give $20,000.” Encouraged by these events, a deacon shouted out, “Hit him again, Lord! Hit him again!”
It’s probably good that God doesn’t operate this way. If He did, many would go home really sore and some auditoriums might not have a ceiling at all. Joking aside, it’s challenging to figure out how much to give at times. God doesn’t send us an email or shoot us a text to tell us to give more. Thankfully, He has given us some principles to apply to our giving.
“Put aside and save” (1 Corinthians 16:2). Whether it is through a budget or literally setting some cash aside, it’s extremely beneficial to designate what money we will give to God first, then budget the rest. It’s amazing how quickly we can spend our money. When Sunday rolls around, if we haven’t put any aside, we might find ourselves digging through our spare change, trying to scrounge up a few quarters to give to God.
“As He may prosper” (1 Corinthians 16:2). We all know how much we have prospered over the last weeks and months. Whatever we have gained, we should give a percentage of this to the Lord. The account of the widow’s contribution is good to keep in mind (Mark 12:41-44).
“God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). No matter how much we decide to give, let’s do it with a good attitude. Giving to God shouldn’t be a frowning brow type of experience. Let’s keep in mind that there is literally no greater use of our money than with the Lord’s church. Going to the movies is fun, but investing in the church is much more worthwhile. Starbucks is really tasty, but watching a sinner come to repentance is much sweeter. Ultimately, we are giving to save souls from hell! This is something to give cheerfully towards.
When we give on Sunday, let’s keep these principles in mind and remember that we are giving to the greatest work on earth.