This is Part II of Monday’s blog. Tithing on the gross is good, but it is only the beginning. We are also to earn more than we need to share the excess with others.
The needs of others should have a moral bearing on our finances. Scripture strongly supports this in the following passage.
2 Corinthians 8:13-15 states,
For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”
If we raise our standard of living every time we earn more, we will never have enough. Instead, we are to live far within our means so that we regularly help others through difficult times, and spread the Gospel to distant lands and the unreached. God gives us excess money so we can help others, not buy more stuff.
Ephesians 4:28 states,
Let him who steals steal no longer; but rather let him labor, performing with his own hands what is good, in order that he may have something to share with him who has need.
The poor are important to God. Proverbs 14:31 states,
Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors Him.
The most insidious deception takes the form of justifying why we don’t give to God, or the poor, or even friends who need our help. Cultural Christians who justify their actions as being frugal fail to help those in need or offer generosity to loved ones. They selfishly withhold funds in order to support a bloated lifestyle and feel good about paying what they feel led to give in the offering plate on Sunday.
If we support children on Compassion International, or donate to Neverthirst to drill water wells in desolate areas, or adopt needy children, this is wonderful and true fruit of the Spirit – unless we use those deeds as a reason not to tithe, be generous to those in need, and selfishly hoard our funds from others.
Giving our time is even harder than money. Time is precious, but when we show up from a foreign land just to tend to the sick, it makes more difference than sending money. To be sure, the money and time go together. There is no separating the two.