Leadership in Context Episode 53 Show Notes
Giving is a Spiritual Standard
Leadership in Context with Keith Tucci
Money Principle #1: Giving is a Grace
Money Principle #2: Giving is a Spiritual Standard
2 Corinthians 8:8-11
I am not speaking this as a command, but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also. For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor, so that you through His poverty might become rich. I give my opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage, who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it. But now finish doing it also, so that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability.
Giving is a spiritual standard and a way to measure our spiritual lives.
Verse 8: I am not speaking this as a command (meaning it is not a requirement; this is not a tithe, but an offering above the tithe), but as proving through the earnestness of others the sincerity of your love also.
Giving reveals your earnestness. It reveals where your heart really is. In the Living Bible, it says, “I’m not giving you an order, I’m not saying you must do it, but others are eager for it. This is one way to prove that your love is real, that it goes beyond your words.” God so loved the world that He GAVE. We teach that that is what love is. Love gives. Another version says, “We are trying to find out how real your love is.” There is a standard that is implied here. When there is proof of love, we want to give.
Verse 9: For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sake He became poor.
Jesus literally set aside the riches and put Himself in an impoverished situation to give us something. We can become rich in the grace to give.
Verse 10: I give my opinion in this matter, for this is to your advantage, who were the first to begin a year ago not only to do this, but also to desire to do it.
There is an advantage for givers. There is a favor, a blessing, something that God will do for givers that He won’t do for non-givers. It’s called seed time and harvest.
Verse 11: But now finish doing it also, so that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability.
There is a moment of time when you respond to that urge to give. If you don’t respond at that moment, you lose that opportunity. (That same principle works in many other areas of your life.) What happens? You will never get that opportunity back. There was a moment of impartation, a moment of divine opportunity. Because giving is so spiritual, if we don’t engage in giving at the moment, we miss that opportunity. I believe this is what the Apostle Paul was referring to when he said in verse 10, “…this is to your advantage.”
Giving is not an idea. Giving is not just a Christian ideal. Giving is making a commitment. It is the completion of something. Giving is an action. “But now finish doing it…” When we are stirred in a moment and respond by pledging to give, we must then complete what we were stirred to do.
Giving is a spiritual standard. You can measure someone’s heart by giving. If a person is committed to a local church, they are going to give to that local church. That is measurable. That is why the tithe is so important. It gives everyone the same standard of giving.
The vision of our life is recorded in our checkbook. That doesn’t mean that there are things in there that are unimportant. Your car, house, clothes, education, etc., are all important and are designed to get you somewhere. But we must understand that God gives us seed for the sowing, not seed to consume.
Next week we will pick up the discussion with principle #3 (one of my favorites).
Join us next week as Keith Tucci continues to put leadership truth in the context of the local church. And as always, please like, share, rate/review, and invite others to listen. See you next week!