Sermon #100: Tithes & Offerings (Giving)


I have, on a number of occasions, listened to preachers teach on tithes and offerings. In the process, I have observed that some preachers encourage members of the congregation to give tithes and offerings in order for them to get something (called a blessing) in return. It sometimes feels like getting a blessing is the only motivation for Christians to give to God! I find this disturbing!

I think that there is need for preachers to go deeper in their teaching on the subject. As far as I am concerned, focusing on "getting something in return" holds immense potential to lead some Christians astray.

A number of Christians now consider the issue of tithing and offering as an economic principle. You put something in, you get more out; what a rate of return! This habit encourages the development of an entrepreneurial mindset, not a spiritual one.

Because of such a mindset, some people have taken the Spirit of God out of their giving; and it's quite unfortunate, in my view. Giving to God should never be taken as a mere physical act; it's spiritual. I do not think that Jesus would be too happy with a Christian who is focused on "getting something in return"!

My position is that preachers ought to teach their congregations to give in order to support the Ministry of Jesus Christ. If the congregants understand how important the Ministry is to them, why would they not stand ready to support it? 

Look here: We donate to charity because we feel it's a worthy cause. Right? Why then should we insist on "getting more or something back" when it comes to giving to God?

Truly, hasn't God given us a lot already - an overflowing blessing? Is Jesus Christ, the Lamb sacrificed for us, an ordinary gift? Is the life that He has given us of no value?

Won't we just give because we are grateful for what Jesus Christ has already accomplished in us and for us, and what He continues to do in our lives? Won't we just give because it's a pleasure to partner with our Father, One who saved us from the fire?

As far as I am concerned, if anyone would not give to God unless their giving is linked to "getting more or something back" then that person is either not a Christian, or is still an infant in the Kingdom, regardless of the number of years he/she has attended church.

I believe that people ought to be taught more on giving to God and the teaching should not dwell on "getting more or something back". The world is groaning, waiting to see the manifestation of the mature sons of God, and we cannot grow to this level unless we understand the need to give to God without putting a condition to our giving!

What did the early believers do? They pulled everything they had together to further the Ministry of  our Lord Jesus Christ. The bible says, "none of them had something to call his own". What an elevated position!

This is my attitude: I tithe and give my offerings to God because I understand the importance of doing so. I am happy already; I am grateful to God already. So when I give I do not expect anything back - honestly. My giving is just an expression of my gratitude to God. I do not want to see the work of God being hampered by lack of finances and I know that my contribution comes in useful.

One other thing I believe - a forced gift is no gift at all, be it an offering or a tithe. A gift given willingly or cheerfully or wholeheartedly, is what moves the Father's heart. You may disagree with all or part of this statement - that is understandable.Forced giving is a mere physical act, not a spiritual one.

Does God bless me for my giving? Yes, He does, and I am extremely delighted about it! "So what's the difference?" you might ask. The difference is that when I give, my eye is never on the blessing, but on ensuring that whatever needs to be done in the House of God would not suffer due to lack of  financial resources.

Honestly, I will never tie my giving to a blessing. I will never say to God, "I will give to you on condition that you give me more or something back." I feel it would be highly selfish of me to do so!

When God gave me Jesus He didn't attach any preconditions to it. If He had, I sure would have failed to meet them! So His gift was unconditional. Where then would I get the courage to make demands of Him just because I gave to Him a dollar that He gave to me in the first place!

God is a giver - a cheerful One.

He is a loving, generous, providing God. But I think we need to change our mindsets. If you give according to the will of God, with a cheerful heart, then you've done what you need to do. Nothing would discourage you in future, because your part is done. But if you make unwise demands on God and you see "nothing" happening afterwards, you are bound to be negatively affected, for you will be focusing on the wrong thing.

So be sure of your ground when you give to God! You've to be sure of your motivation. You might be processing a mere business transaction, devoid of the Holy Spirit, and resulting in a loss after tax!

This is my position. This is exactly how I approach these issues in my life. 

What's your view?

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