The Matter of Giving – Part 2
"You yourselves know that these hands of mine have supplied my own needs and the needs of my companions.” (Acts 20:34 NIV)
Paul wasn’t preaching for gain. He wanted the well-being of the flock. When you have children you love, do you want their money—or do you want them to grow strong and successful? Do the children save for their parents, or do the parents save for the children? It’s the latter. The image of the man of God as a remote figure in special clothes, with people standing when he comes into the auditorium and giving him their money, has no biblical support. We have instead the example of Jesus who washed the disciples’ feet. Ministers are supposed to serve the flock, not the other way around.
Unfortunately, there is sometimes a naiveté among Christians; but we have to be good stewards of what God has given us—we have to be careful where we send our money. Start with your local church, where you are being spiritually fed. Even if you visit our own church, our counsel to you is that your tithe belongs where you normally fellowship, so that they can continue to carry out the work God is calling that local body of believers to do. We also have to take care of our brothers and sisters in need, as we are exhorted to do in the book of James. We can do this individually or through good humanitarian organizations.
Indeed, let’s be givers, for God loves a cheerful giver; but let’s ask God for wisdom and direction in the process. He will give it to us!