Eric's Facebook note·
A lot of attention on social media has rightly been raised about Christians giving our money for the right reason...to the "why" of Christian giving.
The grace portion of our bibles teach true giving is only done when it is voluntary, cheerful, spontaneous and from love, rather than out of obligation, fear of punishment or hope of reward.
Yet almost strangely, little to no attention has been given to the "what" our money goes toward.
Perhaps we have we been trained not to ask "to what" the money we choose to give goes toward?
Let's think about it.
Love responds to needs.
And love also has the right to decline when it doesn't grasp the importance of a need or deems he/she does not want to meet the need, for whatever reason.
When it comes to giving money, God gave us an ability to respond in love, as long as tangible and specific needs are presented to us.
Yet, where giving money is encouraged without knowing what our money is going toward, we are giving blindly.
And blind giving is always a recipe for manipulation and fear-based giving to occur.
Search the grace portion of your Bible and you will not find an instance where a single shekel was given to a yet unidentified, "to be determined" need.
Go further and search the grace portion of your Bible and you will not find an instance where ritual giving is encouraged and money is stockpiled for a yet to be determined need.
Go further and you will not find a single instance where a child of God was made to feel bad because, for whatever reason, he chose not to give.
Whether it be time, money or things, God designed that our "giving" must be a response to a known need and our giving must be done willingly.
If giving is not done willingly, it won't be giving for the right reason.
Yet, so many churches and ministries today ask you and I to give our money regularly out of "devotion to the Lord" while failing to identify any specific need our hard earned dollars are going toward.
And they fail to allow us to decline.
This is blind giving and God discourages it because it is the vehicle of fear...and the enemy of love.
Ritual giving robs us of the joy and spontaneity God intended for us in creating us to be responders.
Because God made us responders, wherever needs remain unidentified, it is truly impossible to give money cheerfully and motivated from real love.
As long as the "what" is unidentified, giving for the right "why" remains impossible.
As long as ritual giving is encouraged without identifying what need or needs our money is going toward, and without a clear choice to decline, we can't give spontaneously and lovingly as God intends.
As long as we are unable to say, "I'll pass this time" and do so repeatedly without being viewed by others as less than Christian, it is fear based giving, not love based.
Let's get back to grace in regard to giving our time, our things...and our money.