I DID A YouTube video called “Stop Tithing, Start Giving” in which I talk about the Apostle Paul’s guidelines on how to give. In the video I highlighted the importance of giving from your abundance.
A Lack of Faith?
A YouTube visitor disagreed with the notion of giving from your abundance. His position was that if you tithe from your abundance it means you lack faith. In other words, if you pay tithes only when you have enough money then you are not trusting God. You are not acting in faith.
His view about tithing from your abundance is common in some segments of the church. Although it is a common belief it is not a belief supported by scripture.
First of all tithing is not an act of faith, which I explain in my article Is Tithing an Act of Faith? Secondly, Christians are not required to tithe under any circumstances. For the purpose of this article, I will discuss giving from your abundance as opposed to tithing since giving is a New Testament practice.
The Abundant Giver
2 Corinthians 8:11-14
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 one does not have.
Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. Then there will be equality: (NIV).
In chapter 8 Paul is encouraging the collection of money for the church at Jerusalem. He is appealing to the Corinthian church because it was in a better financial state than the other churches (e.g., the church in Macedonia).
In this scripture, Paul makes 3 things very clear:
- Give according your means or what you can afford.
- Relieving the burden of others should not be a burden for you.
- You supply the needs of other with your plenty.
He is outlining some principles on how to give in a way that is practical and fair to both the giver and the receiver. Here’s a practical example of how to give using these three principles:
- Calculate your monthly household expenses.
- Pay your household expenses. Whatever money you have leftover is your abundance. As Paul states this is your “plenty.”
- Give to those in need from your plenty; your abundance. In this manner you are helping someone else without placing yourself in a financial hardship.
The Apostle Paul is encouraging good financial stewardship. Giving from your abundance is not only an aspect of good stewardship but also biblical.