Why did it become more of a tax benefit to give when we should give out of honor for God rather than our own benefit…
I think in the last couple years, you actually have to have more itemized deductions than before so most people probably wouldn’t use this as an excuse anymore, but it’s still a possibility.
I’ve thought about this a lot since I started giving – how people may only give because they get something out of it. Not to say giving for a tax benefit is the only selfish intent… because some may believe that giving to the church, to God means they’ll get something in return.
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”2 Corinthians 9:7
I started giving in college after I had income of my own. I was also in the Word more at that time because of the College and Career class at church and being away from high school where I didn’t really know other Christians closely there, if there were any. I don’t remember the “why” behind my starting to give, to tithe. Something I do know is that there was some kind of conviction knowing that I was making money only because of God in my life.
I wanted a job for about a year or two before college started and I applied to a few places but never heard a word back and then the one place I got an interview with, my Dad didn’t want me to work there so I was kind of bummed – but they didn’t even hire me anyway. I felt like I was never going to get anywhere because I was SO shy, quiet, the absolute opposite of confident and also lacking in experience.
My parents went into the campus bookstore and they were hiring. I didn’t really think it would work out there either based on all my experience with interview (lack thereof!!), but I applied and received an interview anyway. One short interview later, my amazing manager hired me and to this day, I still work there. That was almost 6 years ago!
Since then, I’ve felt nothing but love from my bookstore job. I love working there and I feel like that’s one of the places I belong that I can help people – freshmen and their families are some of my favorites, it’s so easy to talk to them… mostly because I’ve been there and I wish someone had explained things to me in great detail to be able to save money on textbooks.
And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.Hebrews 13:16
Because of my feeling God’s hand on my career path and provision – since this job I’ve had so many great opportunities through college and recommendations – I felt like it was only right to give back to God to do His kingdom work through giving to my home church.
In giving, I know that the money I give will be multiplied by Him to do eternal work, to spread His Word and His Name across the world. Even when I haven’t had much, I can still give. When I have much, I can give extra . Offering it to Him doesn’t hurt me, it doesn’t cost me anything when I know that it’s not mine anyway. He has allowed me to pursue a career and work hard for His glory.
Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have.2 Corinthians 8:12
Some days it may seem like man… I could really use that money… but how easy is it to fall into a pattern of keeping that money for yourself instead of giving it to God? I’ve been there. Once you do it once, it’s hard to start getting back to giving again. When that happens, I think of the many stories in the Bible where God has provided over and over when people had literally nothing. I know that times get tough, but they don’t last forever. He will provide for me in all my needs. I don’t give to be provided for, but I know that when I give, He provides.