In my last article, I introduced us to the New Testament form of giving. The principles shared from last week to this serve as guides that will help us recognize if we are giving in the true Spirit of Grace. Kindly read the first article at victoradeyemi.org if you haven’t to have a complete idea of the message of this article. It is also intended to provoke our personal Bible study and not an exhaustive exposition of the subject. Other attributes of Grace Giving are as follows:
Grace Giving is done PROPORTIONATELY
The more blessed we are, the more we ought to give. We ought to give in a commensurate way to our income)1 Corinthians 16:1-2). This suggests to me that God expects our giving to be planned in a way to ensure continuous generosity in tandem with an increase in income. The Tithing system principle helps in this regard. 10% of 1,000 dollars is 100. The same 10% becomes 1,000 dollars when the income increases to 10,000 dollars.
Grace giving is done PURPOSEFULLY. We have to be intentional about it. God wants it to be done with utmost sincerity. It has to be as purposed in the heart. Yes, there could be conflicts between the spirit and the flesh(Galatians 5:16), but at the end of the day, God wants the choice to be ours. That is why our financial stewardship ought to be done with a sense of liberty to choose. Paul described his appeal to the Corinthians as a test of the sincerity of their love for God as reflected by their love for His precious people(2 Corinthians)
Grace Giving is done EXPECTANTLY
Every farmer plants with expectation of a harvest in multiples of the measure in which he plants. Our giving is described in agricultural terminology of sowing and reaping. We are promised an Overflow if we sow bountifully(2 Cor 9:6, Galatians 6:7). Paul admonished the Philippians that God will supply all their need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus after they have to support him on two occasions when he was in Thessalonica.
Grace Giving is done CONSISTENTLY. This ensures that needs are met at the end of the day. A portion(or percentage) of everyone’s income should be given on a weekly basis. This tradition has survived for thousands of years in the churches of Christ and remains a part of the life of a Grace Giver. The truth is, giving is characteristic of the Grace of God and therefore, every heart captured by God’s grace gives again and again. As a matter of fact, the truth of 2 Corinthians 9:8 is that God’s grace keeps God’s provision flowing continuously so we can always abound to every good work(of giving). While receiving is the result of giving, the ultimate purpose of giving is giving because we receive in order to give again.
Grace Giving is done ANONYMOUSLY. All the focus of Grace Giving as Paul admonished the Corinthians was the joy and gratitude that will result in the hearts of the poor saints at Jerusalem (2 Corinthians 9:11-13). They will glorify God and not man. They will pray for the Corinthians who they will not know by name. The heart seized by grace wants to see needs met and God glorified. It has no personal agenda nor hopes of self-aggrandizement. Its motive is not political gains nor even recognition by the community. It seeks no human accolades nor gratitude. All that satisfies such a pure heart is that God is glorified.