A Generous Invitation
Hello, Metro Family. Last Sunday, I promised to address the topic of Biblical generosity – so here it goes! Make a cup of coffee (or your favorite beverage) and join me in exploring what I think is a very cool invitation from God.
The Apostle Paul was the one who planted the first church in the city of Corinth. As such, for the remainder of his life, he was the biggest supporter and coach for that church. One of Paul’s passions for the Corinthian church was that they got the generosity thing right. His clear instruction to them in his first and second letters to the church stand as foundational teaching for us today.
In Paul’s first letter, he tells the church members that their financial generosity to the church should be personal, regular, and proportional:
On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made. – 1 Corinthians 16:2
Apparently, in those days most people were paid weekly. Paul instructs them to create a rhythm of setting aside a portion of their earnings each time they were paid.
He also makes it clear that every Christian needs to participate in generous giving. He does not specify an amount people should give, but he says it should be proportional to what they were paid – in other words, a percentage.
Many first-time proportional givers have started smaller and moved forward to 10% as a first-tier goal. Others have moved beyond 10% as God has provided.
In Paul’s second letter to Corinth he teaches that their giving should be intentional and joyful:
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7
The intentionality is closely connected to the proportional giving from the first letter. He wants people to be thoughtful and prayerful about what they will give and then to follow with consistency. The joy piece only comes when we realize what a privilege it is to give and then obediently follow through.
What is God’s invitation to us from these two passages? A quick check-in would be to prayerfully ask and answer the question:
Am I, as a follower of Christ, living as a personal, regular, proportional, intentional and joyful giver?
If you and I cannot answer yes to each of those qualifiers, I invite you to take action and move towards being all in. Start somewhere, take small steps forward and celebrate when your practice is in alignment with the biblical instruction.
If any of this isn’t clear, let’s sit down over a brew and talk about this important part of our life as a follower of Jesus.
God bless you.
Together in the journey,