“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor 9:7)
“Tithers make up only 10-25 percent of a normal congregation. Only 5 percent of the U.S. tithes, with 80 percent of Americans only giving 2 percent of their income. Christians are only giving at 2.5 percent per capita, while during the Great Depression they gave at a 3.3 percent rate.
But if believers were to increase their giving to a minimum of, let’s say, 10 percent. There would be an additional $165 billion for churches to use and distribute.” (1)
An additional $165 billion is huge! Global hunger could be relieved. We could eliminate deaths from starvation and preventable diseases. Illiteracy could be erased. Water and sanitation issues would be solved. Overseas missions work could be fully funded. There would still be an additional 100 billion left for ministry expansion. (1)
We could accomplish a lot if we were to give.
I don’t present these statistics to compel you to give beyond your hearts desire. Instead, I present them to show you what you could accomplish if you were to purpose in your heart to give faithfully.
But in order for us to be cheerful givers, we have to understand why and what our giving can accomplish, hence the numbers above. We also have to understand that the Lord is the one who cares for us. Verse 8 reads:
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” (2 Cor 9:8)
Why don’t we give? We don’t give because we don’t trust the Lord. We don’t believe He will continue to provide for us nor do we believe we can make it on 90%. But He can and we will. The Lord is the One who actually provides us with 100% of our income (2 Cor 9:10). He can provide what we need to care for ourselves and our families, we just need to trust that He will provide. One way we show our trust is by giving.
But we aren’t to give reluctantly just so we will get from the Lord. That is what the prosperity gospel teaches. Instead, we are to give out of a cheerful heart because we are thankful for how God has provided. As well as we give to bring God glory. When we exercise our trust through giving, we bring God glory by proclaiming to others we believe God is able to provide for our needs and care for us with our 90% instead of our 100%.
When we see God care for us as we give away a portion of our income, our trust in Him will grow and our heart for giving will grow too. Not only will we experience change as we give, but we will also change the world with our giving.
Will you begin giving in 2021 for your own heart and the world’s needs?