I recently donated $10 to Josh Claybourn so he could maintain the cost of keeping comments active on his site. I’ve also donated to Glenn Reynolds and James Lileks (note, however, I do not find myself very much in the habit of being financially charitable to bloggers–these were more isolated instances of goodwill toward blogs I visit frequently).
I don’t, however, often put money in the collection busket (see Suicide Kings if you don’t get the reference) at church. When I do, it’s generally piddling amounts. $5. $2. A pencil. Nothing to break the bank. But I do provide monthly support for two staff members, plus I support a Compassion child. I’m not saying all this to brag–what I wanted to ask was, should I feel guilty about not giving very much in church proper? After all, I am more than able to give money every Sunday. Generally, however, I don’t feel like I need to or should, and I’ve wondered if that’s right. I then read this passage, from 2 Corintians 8:7-12.
But just as you excel in everything–in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us –see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich. And here is my advice about what is best for you in this matter: Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what he does not have.
Do I give joyously? It’s hard to say. My instinct is not to hold on to my money, but neither do I hand it out “joyously”. It’s rather a matter of course to me; EFT has made this easier, in my opinion, but negating my need to keep track of how much I “owe”, and it reduces the temptation to withhold payments every month. But I don’t begrudge the money, and I am pleased that it is going toward two people who can now work and teach in my church with somewhat less a financial burden than before I began supporting them.
So, I think that my giving is in accordance with Scripture, and more or less is aligned with the spirit of giving. I may not be totally on track in terms of my heart, but that is something I will have to ask God to convict me about if I’m in the wrong. Until that happens, I suppose I can continue giving in the way my heart feels most led.