Every spectrum of life and work has been affected by this virus. Our economy has been turned upside down. The U.S. government has taken unprecedented steps to stem the impact on our economy. Blue collar, white collar, unemployed, and retired collectively hold their breath with a “wait and see” on the long term impact on job security, flow of income, or retirement.
It would be easy, even justified, for many of us to pause our giving in a season like this. But I do not believe that’s what God would have of us. Many of our normal channels for “giving” of ourselves have changed. Generosity and stewardship also include how we give our time and energy to others. In a season of “stay-at-home,” those types of ministries must be relegated to the phone or computer.
As I write this, I’m grateful for a church body that faithfully gives—and gives generously. We saw a record offering to Lottie Moon this past Christmas season. We exceeded budgeted giving last calendar year. We quickly and joyfully give to mission needs put before us. I’m also grateful for our church leadership and staff that wisely steward our resources. They’ve helped us prepare for this “rainy day” and will continue to guide us through this season to its end.
I share this with you just to bring before all of us what I believe God would invite us to prayerfully consider. He longs for us to sow generously.
6 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. (2 Corinthians 9:6-7 ESV)
I read this quote the other day, and it’s stayed with me, “Generosity flourishes when we don’t fear loss.” The truth is, many have already experienced (or may experience) “loss” financially from this season. The question for us is, “Do we fear that loss?”
If I’m honest, I’m tempted to fear that loss. I’m tempted to do more than just wisely save and steward. Fear of loss would tempt me to hold resources with a vice grip or hoard them for my own selfish benefit alone. God knows this temptation with me so He frequently pricks this part of my life and asks for me to let go of more. My wife and I evaluated and reset our finances beginning this past January. As a result, we have saved more of our monthly resources this year. As soon as we saw our monthly savings, God nudged us to increase our regular giving. Then, once this pandemic began, He nudged again. I can say with joy, we are giving more and eager to see what God will do.
I am answering the question, “Do I fear loss?” I encourage you to answer it too. The answer to that question will reveal if our trust and confidence resides in our bank account, our 401k, our job security, or our retirement disbursements. The answer to that question will reveal if we truly believe that our God owns the cattle on a thousand hills, and the hills to boot (Psalm 50:10). It will reveal if we trust in the “riches of His glory” to care for us and sustain us (Ephesians 3:16).
If you’ve hesitated to mail in your tithe or give through your church’s online platform, I encourage you to take that step. If God has nudged you to give more, listen to Him. If He has placed on your heart a ministry or a person or a church or a missionary or a neighbor in need, listen to His direction and give. Maybe you are reading this, and you’ve fallen out of the habit of giving regularly. God may be saying to you right now, “Give and watch me provide for you and demonstrate my faithfulness to you. Trust me with your money.”
Don’t fear loss. Give. Trust God with your today. And your tomorrow. He’s got you.
*For my PGBC Family, you can click here to give through our online platform. Our family set up our giving as recurring. We’ve found it to be the simplest route to giving obediently.