Our church gave openly not too long ago:
We invited charity which is involved in looking after the homeless- giving them shelter, food etc
The leader of the charity was invited to church and a cheque made out like a banner was offered to the Leader by our Pastor with pictures taken during the service. He was also given a platform to give his acceptance and thanks giving speech. The picture was published on the notice board of the Church at the back of the church main auditorium
Was this good giving? Was it bad giving? What was the motive? Was it to show that we were not just interested in our affairs (although we had many needs like paying a big mortgage after acquiring a new building and planting two new churches and meeting the demands of various bills and salaries of the pastor and some full-time staff etc) Was it to convince the members that their tithes and offering were not going into the pastor’s pocket? Was it to motivate members to have interests outside of themselves and their local church? The Pastor clearly shared his admiration of what the charity was doing and wanted to stand alongside them. But some may question the method used.
There was also a story the pastor told about another Church who reportedly sent some one into the church during the period were raising money to pay the deposit for our new building. They dropped a large offering specifically as a seed towards their own building. Was it a good way to give? Why was it relayed back to the Pastor who then used it during his sermon?
Motive and Giving
Joining the worship team in our church I gave my Cds ( of songs composed)to the worship leader when he asked for any contributions for fast songs. I also gave him a collection of fast songs from other artists. Certainly I wanted him to use the songs irrespective of who wrote them.
Some may read a wrong motive there. Some may say, ‘May be he wants his songs to be used.’ But is it wrong motive? Is it wrong when the songs of other artists are also included, and there is no insistence on the use of the materials submitted? You judge for yourself. I do not think it is wrong to seek avenues for your songs to be used? After all God gave it for the edification of the Church. It is a different matter if your interest is to be famous, be known, boost your ego in the worship team, apart from the gift of God being used to glorify Him and edify the saints. Most of the songs Hills Songs Church uses were written by Darling Schech.
The motive for using or not using such contributions can be right or wrong. It would be wrong not to use the materials because it came from a member of the group other than the leaders or because it came from someone who is local. However in that case the scripture is also indirectly fulfilled: he came to his own but his own received Him not.’ And when the scripture is fulfilled in your life, rejoice. Ultimately however, just as Jesus triumphed you will if you are in right relationship with Him. Your good name can go before you and recommend you.
If it is rejected because your testimony does not match the gift then assuming the judgment is right, it is in order.
Using the gift could also fuel pride in some people and lead them astray. There is a need for the guidance of the Holy Spirit and avoiding the reign of the flesh.
See motive from a pastor’s perspective:
Your giving is who you are
Harringay United Church-Baptist sermon delivered on the18th October 2009
Your motive determines the acceptability v7
Contrary to the sowing of the farmer, the motive of sowing seed in Spiritual field (which is giving for the gospel) is very important.
First you must determine how much you want to give. Some people leaves home without thinking about their giving, it is only when they get to Church they now take what they can find in their wallet. This is not right. You must decide how much, with sincerity of heart, not reluctantly, or as a compulsion but willingly and cheerfully.
Sowing with wrong motives is as wrong as not sowing at all. If you sow with reluctance it is unacceptable to God. If you sow because you felt compelled, it is not acceptable either.
It is easy to identify the motive with which one gives to God. The face of anyone who grudges is squeezed, tensed and unhappy. Whereas, a cheerful heart wears a happy and smiling face when he gives to the Lord.
Your giving must not be seen as a contract that if you give this, God is obliged to give you that. You must do it as an act of obedience not minding whether He will bless you or not, just do it willingly and gladly and you will be surprised at what God can and will do.
Your motive must not be commercial, what I mean by this is that you must not give with the expectation to become rich financially. God determines how and when He will reward you.
Motive is from your heart. A mean person will never give generously, neither a stingy person will give bountifully and since their hearts determine what their hands give, they give sparingly, with reluctance and as a result it is not acceptable to God.
Motive and Foreign Aid
It is alleged that USA give s to countries where it has political and financial interests and that most (90% ) of its aid as tied aids to keep the countries receiving the aids under its apron strings and giving it the ability to pursue its policies.
According to Vexen Crabtree, in an article : United States of America: Foreign Aid ‘’People are led to hate Americans: For not giving more to the people who genuinely need it, for economic bullying and aggression, and finally for not being critical of their own government and believing its propaganda. People are also driven to hate the USA as a whole for its wholesale economic aggression, hypocrisy, lies and power mongering even when it comes to charity.’’
We can clearly see wrong motives of giving from the above.
There is also a propaganda machine designed to self –congratulate and to make the USA look good in the eyes of the world, claiming to be the most generous where as it ranks below 22 of the most developed countries in term of giving related to GDP
Americans] are regularly told by politicians and the media, that America is the world's most generous nation. This is one of the most conventional pieces of 'knowledgeable ignorance'. According to the OECD, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the US gave between $6 and $15 billion in foreign aid in the period between 1995 and 1999. In absolute terms, Japan gives more than the US, between $9 and $15 billion in the same period. But the absolute figures are less significant than the proportion of gross domestic product (GDP, or national wealth) that a country devotes to foreign aid. On that league table, the US ranks twenty-second of the 22 most developed nations. As former President Jimmy Carter commented: 'We are the stingiest nation of all'. Denmark is top of the table, giving 1.01% of GDP, while the US manages just 0.1%. The United Nations has long established the target of 0.7% GDP for development assistance, although only four countries actually achieve this: Denmark, 1.01%; Norway, 0.91%; the Netherlands, 0.79%; Sweden, 0.7%. Apart from being the least generous nation, the US is highly selective in who receives its aid. Over 50% of its aid budget is spent on middle-income countries in the Middle East, with Israel being the recipient of the largest single share.
Whilst looking at the USA and sneering it is also possible that in our private lives we may be doing similar things- giving to tie people to our apron strings or congratulating ourselves for giving a lot whilst in actual fact our giving compares very meager in relation to what we have left or in relation t our income.
May the Lord help us and guide us to give with the right motive so that our reward will come from Him.
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