A Passage To Ponder: 2Corinthians 9:6-7

There’s an old story of an African-American preacher who was trying to motivative his congregation to greater ministry.  As he concluded his sermon, he said if this church is going to go it’s got to walk the walk.  To which someone, responded, “Let her walk, preacher!”

Then he said, if this church is going to grow, it’s gotta get up and run.  Among a chorus of “Amens” someone hollered, “Let her run, preacher!”

Feeling the surge of excitement, the preacher bellowed, “And if this church is really going to grow big, it’s gotta fly!  And with even greater gusto, the congregation roared, “Let her fly, preacher!”

Seeking to seize the moment, the preacher challenged with even deeper passion, “And if this church is gonna fly it’s gonna take money.”

At that, someone yelled back, “Let her walk, preacher.”

The subject of giving is a touchy subject for many.  Anytime you begin to discuss the topic of the members’ money, someone thinks you’re meddling in something that’s none of your business.  And many preachers shy away for fear of being accused of lobbying for a raise.

The Bible, however, discusses the use of money in a direct and unambiguous manner.  In addressing the need to support the needy saints, Paul issues this exhortation to the Corinthian church.

“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” (1 Cor. 9:6-7)

At the heart of giving is the issue of stewardship.  A steward is not the owner, but one assigned to properly manage the owner’s assets.  God is the owner.  Everything belongs to Him.  But he’s entrusted us to use the prosperity he’s given us while we’re on earth.

Stewardship involves the proper use of our time, talents and treasure. All that we are and all that we possess is because of God’s grace and goodness.  From the Old Testament teaching on tithing to Jesus’ stewardship parables, to plain instructions in the epistles about using our gifts to glorify God and sharing our monetary resources, the Bible is clear about our stewardship responsibilities.

When it comes to the Lord’s day contribution, the question is often asked, “How much should I give?” There’s no definitive answer with an amount or percentage.  It’s more of a matter of looking into our hearts rather than our wallets.

Here are 5 guidelines for giving that hopefully will provide some direction.

#1 Giving is to God.

We talk about giving to the church or helping a needy a saint, or supporting a preacher, but the object of our giving is really God.  The contribution is a part of the Lord’s Day worship (1Cor. 16:1).  When we fail to give, we’re not shortchanging the church, but robbing God (Mal. 8:3-10).

#2 Giving is based on Personal Prosperity.  

The Bible commands us to give “in keeping with our income” (1 Cor. 16:1).  You can’t give what you don’t have.  They’re other Bible commands regarding  supporting our families, paying our taxes, and helping the needy.  So, our ability must be considered in view of what we can personally afford.

It’s not about the amount, but the intent of the heart. One unknown sage said,  “It’s not what you do with the million if fortune should ere be your lot, but what are you doing at present with the dollar and quarter you got.”

#3 Giving should be planned.

The keyword in this text is “purpose.”  This is a decision.  It involves choice. Forethought. Evaluation. And resolve. Giving is not an afterthought.  Or scrambling to see if we have any cash on us to put something in the plate when it’s passed.  Giving is intentional.

#4 Giving should be voluntary

Giving should not be done grudgingly.  Half-heartedly. Or reluctantly.  Don’t give under compulsion or pressure.  Giving should arise from devout desire, not disgruntled duty.

#5 Giving should be cheerful

The Greek word translated “cheerful” is “hilaros.”  From it is derived our English word hilarious.  It means merry.  Joyful.  And enthusiastic.  Can you give to God with a big grin on your face? Everything in life requires money.  This is true in ministry and spiritual matters as well.

When we give, God promises to bless us.  We will reap what we sow.  In this regard, consider this warning from Peter Marshall: “Give according to your income, lest God make your income according to your giving.”

–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman

 

 

 

 

 

7 Comments

Filed under Passage To Ponder

7 responses to “A Passage To Ponder: 2Corinthians 9:6-7

  1. Steven Jones

    Ken, thanks for the reminder on the importance of giving. As you mentioned, this is a topic that is rarely discussed or mentioned, except as a convenience after the Lord’s supper (communion) observance. Few people realize that Jesus actually spoke more about giving than about any other subject and it seems that most often 1 Cor 16:1-2 is the common passage referred to regarding giving. As much as I agree that the local treasury (weekly collection) can be scripturally used for other purposes, it seems that very little is actually used to support the passage listed above.
    Therefore, my question is this… if a local church has a large surplus of excess funds on hand that are far more than needed to support its work; then would it be acceptable for any members to give directly to the needy (brethren and others) rather than to the local treasury if no additional funds are needed? ie: 1 Cor. 16:1-2
    I welcome your feedback and that of any others who wish to comment on this matter using the scriptures.
    Steve

    • Steve

      Thanks for reading ThePreachersWord. And for taking the time to comment and raise a really good question.

      I always hesitate to make generic judgments about specific situations. But you’re not alone in your question. It’s real. And relevant. Each situation is different.

      Maybe the church is saving for a specific need. Are there Shepherds overseeing the funds? Are they good stewards of the “Lord’s money?” Is there a reason for the surplus? If there is a doubt about their judgment in overseeing something this important, maybe one should consider another congregation, if there are choices.

      Since I’m not in the business of legislating, I would probably suggest continuing one’s weekly contribution as commanded, but use of your own surplus to either support preachers in difficult areas or help needy saints.

      If you believe the funds contributed are being misused or used in an unscriptural fashion, and its not possible to change membership, I would suggest sending your contribtuion to a congregation that could really use it–and there are plenty like that.

      Hope that is helpful.

      • Steven Jones

        Hi Ken,

        The church currently does not have an eldership bu,t the numerical growth has been strong in recent years so, the contribution continues to rise well beyond our budgetary needs. Although, we would like to expand the building that expense is just not justifiable so again our current balance is very high and 75% of it is not needed. Therefore, since we know we must follow scriptural example to help needy brethren we simply are taking in far more than we are spending. We also partially support two other preachers and could help several more but, that may never happen. All said, I am very disappointed in the lack of interest by the men in doing more to help other preachers or brethren in need. I believe this is just as unscriptural and wrong as using the funds in a manner that is not authorised.
        Regarding you suggestion to continue supporting the weekly contribution as commanded by Paul, I would ask this question, if there is not a specific reason to use the contribution to help needy saints as 1 Cor 16 mentions, then how do we as christians justify adding more to an already bloated treasury when we know that we can help needy saints individually instead?

      • Steve my suggestion would be to work within the congregation and try to encourage the brethren to use the money for good works that are needed. I assume you operate through a business meeting. So why not come to the next meeting with one or two men who are needing support that you could suggest you help them. Or a current benevolent need somewhere either in the US or around the world or brother requesting help.

      • Well I hit reply a little quicker than I meant to. But I think you get my drift. If the brother in object that we can’t afford it you can appoint to the balance that you are sitting on. I would anticipate objections in so come armed with information about the worthiness of the request. Even if it is turned down it might cause some of the brethren to think that agree with you and generally change the attitude in the atmosphere toward the contribution and toward the money in the bank

    • Aaron Springer

      steve just my thoughts on this. pauls commend to put aside in a group fund was for a specific collection to support the stuggling church in Jerusalem. if your congregation has more money then it needs may e use that money to increase outreach and benevolent ministries in your community. or if you feel the collected money should only be used for the local saints, encourage the members of your congregation to use the money they would otherwise put in the plate, for feed the hungry and clithe the naked. sadly i know kany Christians whose sole giving is to the collection plate and do not realize it is ok to give iutside of that. just my two cents. and i fully understand if you feel i should get some change back

  2. Pingback: A Passage To Ponder: 2Corinthians 9:6-7 | A disciple's study

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