Remember this--a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don t give reluctantly or in response to pressure.
"For God loves a person who gives cheerfully." And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (NLT)
Far too often we say we cannot afford to give and we can't. Perhaps we would do well to change tactics for when we say we cannot afford not to give, suddenly we find that we can afford to give!
During nine months of financial struggle, my husband and I would look at one another and remind the other that regardless of our circumstances we could not afford to not give. You see, we understand that God is the one who gives us life. We understand that all that we have belongs to Him... not us. We understand that God feeds us, clothes us and provides the means for us to warm our house during a cold and brutal Minnesota winter. We understand that God is the one who gave us the vehicles we need and keeps them operational. He is the one who provided the funds for me when I needed a brake job done last week.
What I have learned over the years is this. When I reason that I cannot afford to give... I can't. Why? Because I have closed my hands and demonstrated my lack of faith in what God has said that He would do. He promised to care for me so why am I acting like He won't by clenching the money He has given me so tightly?
When I make giving my #1 priority, something amazing happens. Suddenly the "less" turns into "more". This happens if I give with unselfish motives meaning I give because I desire to give back to God. Now, if I give because I think I'm going to get something out of it... well, is that truly giving?
When someone says, "I gave and gave but I still was not able to pay my mortgage or other bills", they need to do a heart-check. One or all of these things happened.
1. They had selfish motives. They were only giving to "get" and/or they were giving to soothe their conscience or look good to others. God rejects such offerings and will not bless you.
2. They were not good stewards. Yes, God does provide our needs but He expects us to use what He gives us wisely. Far too often God gives us the means to pay our bills but we take that money and spend it on other "stuff". In other words, we squander God's gift.
Number 3 is a tricky one because at first glance it may seem like I am suggesting that you don't give. I'm not.
3. We don't seek God in regards to what we should give and we gave above and beyond what God said to give. A generous heart is good but God also wants us to use wisdom. This goes along with stewardship. There is a fine line here and that is why we need to always seek the Holy Spirit in regards to our giving. Let Him be your guide.