Guidelines on Giving EGP Blog post from June 29, 2014

Luke 6:30 ()

“Give to everyone who asks of you, and whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back.

It’s easy to get jaded in today’s society to the point that our first thoughts when someone asks for money are: “they’re probably just going to buy drugs/alcohol/cigarettes with it,” “if they spent this time finding a job instead of just begging, they wouldn’t be in this situation,” or “I don’t want to be an enabler and reward their laziness.” The truth is, ALL those things may very well be true in a particular situation. The bottom line is, however, Jesus said, “give to EVERYONE who asks of you” and didn’t add an “except if you don’t think they deserve it or will misuse it” clause.

So where’s the balance? I mean, if someone asks for your car, should you just immediately hand them the keys and walk to work every day? If someone has a sign asking for money should you go empty your bank account for them because “you can’t out-give God”, right? Should you remortgage your house, refinance your car, or get a loan so you can give it away? Probably not any or these…but maybe. As always, the real question is, “What does God want me to do in this situation?” Maybe God DOES want you to downsize what you have so that you will know that HE is all you need. Maybe God DOES want you to give all your money away to someone so that you will see that HE always provides.

In this passage there is a caveat that many overlook. It says, “Give to everyone who asks of you,” however, it doesn’t say that you have to give as MUCH as they asked of you or even WHAT they asked of you. In fact, Peter and John were once asked for alms by a beggar, but they healed him instead of giving him food or money and then used it as an opportunity to tell people about Jesus. (Acts 3)

2 Corinthians 8:11–15 ()

[11] Now you should carry this project through to completion just as enthusiastically as you began it. Give whatever you can according to what you have. [12] If you are really eager to give, it isn’t important how much you are able to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you don’t have. [13] Of course, I don’t mean you should give so much that you suffer from having too little. I only mean that there should be some equality. [14] Right now you have plenty and can help them. Then at some other time they can share with you when you need it. In this way, everyone’s needs will be met. [15] Do you remember what the Scriptures say about this? “Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough.”

2 Corinthians 8:15 Exod 16:18.

It’s easy to judge and possibly even judge rightly, but we should instead train our instincts to first ask why we need to keep what’s asked for rather than why shouldn’t we give it to them. We should ask what we CAN give them and how we can show them Christ through it. And, of course, we should first seek God’s wisdom instead of solely relying on our own deductive reasoning.

Key verses