“I am a New Testament Christian, so I do not tithe”.
There is no such thing as a “New Testament Christian” As Christians we read, study, and apply biblical principles from all of Scripture.
2 Tim. 3:16
“All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;”
In the previous nugget we discussed the principle of tithing and giving offerings. It is interesting how those who say they are a “New Testament Christian” will defend capital punishment by quoting the Old Testament. It is the ‘pick and choose’ mentality.
“I can’t afford to give”.
this as an excuse why they do not tithe or give offerings. They don’t have
money to help a church or ministry, but they can afford lattes, video rentals,
eat out, buy ‘toys’, etc.
What they really are saying is that the things they want are more important than the things of God.
According to statistics, those with lower incomes give more than those with higher incomes. Obviously the ‘poor’ can afford to give.
We acknowledge there are times when individuals are ‘scrapping the barrel’ just to survive. But most of those who attend church in America are not in this situation.
At times we cannot afford to not give. If we do not give, we may miss out in a blessing from our Heavenly Father.
“I give as God leads”.
This is a good concept. The problem is some people are never ‘led’. I like what Bill Wilson with Metro Ministries (The largest Sunday School program in the USA) says: “The need is the call. If God reveals a need to your heart, that is the call to do something.” If you know the neighbor has no money and their child is outside without a jacket, get him a jacket, don’t wait for ‘God to lead you’.
“You can’t trust churches or ministries”.
Yes, there are some organizations that are deceptive, dishonest, or do not use money wisely. As a matter of fact in the Old Testament, even during the time Malachi was written, there was greed among those who managed the ‘storehouse’. Yet God still said to give.
Besides most ministries and churches are sincere.
is always asking for money”.
If everyone gave, would the church need to ask for money? Because they ask often, the person becomes spiteful and refuses to give. Being spiteful is not a fruit of the Spirit. If you really don’t feel led to give to the church, then give to another ministry. The reality is that for most it is just another excuse to not give.
“I am waiting until I have some money saved up”.
The problem is that the money never gets ‘saved up’. Or the person ‘saves up’ and then feels they need to save up even more.
The need is for the present-so help in the present. According to Malachi, by giving, you are saving up, because the money you have left over will not be devoured by the enemy.
There is nothing wrong with having a savings account, but money for savings comes after tithing.
“I don’t like how they spend the money”.
Then find a church where you agree with their vision. Then support the vision with your finances. Some seem to never find the right church.
“Giving is a gift from God, and I have a different gift.”
Yes, for some it is a gift from God. They hear a need and they are willing to freely give even if they can only give a small amount. This can actually be a spiritual gift. But being stingy is not a ‘different gift’. Besides, tithing and giving offerings is a biblical principle for all to follow, not just those who have the ‘gift of giving.
“My money won’t go far anyways”.
I can only
give a little bit each month and it will not go far. This is true, but if what
you give is combined with what others give, it could a large sum of money.
Example: You can only give $1.00 a month as an offering. 2,000 other people can only give $1.00 per month. Each month there would be $2,000. If every person did not give because ‘their money will not go far’, there would be no money comeing in.
“Money is the root of all evil”.
Money itself is not evil. It is our attitude and what we do with it determines if it is evil.
It is evil and sin to not tithe or give offerings.
“It’s my money and I will do with it whatever I choose”.
This is a lie from the devil. All your money belongs to God and He trusts you to be a good steward with it. One of the ways of being a good steward is to give to ministries where the money can be used for the Kingdom of God.
“My money is a personal thing, and I don’t want others to know what I give-it is my business”.
Then give anonymously and by cash. Don’t use this as an excuse to not give.
“I won’t give because I cannot get a tax-deductible receipt”.
times, there was no such thing as tax deductions. In most foreign countries
there is no such thing as a tax deduction. Is saving money on your tax return
more important than helping someone in need?
Some would argue and say, “Yeah but my money will go further if I can get a tax deduction”. True, but if you give as God leads, your money will go even further. The God of heaven does not operate according to tax deductions. The reality is that there is going to be a time in the future here in America that you will not see the ‘benefit’ of tax deductions.
“I give my time instead of money”.
I have been there. There was a time in my life I had no money to spare whatsoever. But I donated many hours of time to my church. But as soon as I started having some extra money, I worked back into tithing.
There is a mindset in America among many Christians. It is a self-centered attitude. It is more about me and my money than about God and His money. Many put their trust in their finances instead of in God. We are more concerned to build our kingdom instead of His kingdom. It is about priorities. Instead of making excuses why we cannot give, we should be asking God to give us a reason why we should not give.
In the next nugget we will discuss our own experience as a ministry in regards to the topic of giving.
Copyright © 2003 Richard D. Dover. All rights reserved.
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Unless otherwise noted, Scripture quotations used are from the New American Standard Version (NASB).