It has been taught by some preachers that when you give an offering in church or donate money to a ministry or charity God is ‘indebted to you’, ‘owes you,’ will make you rich and give you financial breakthroughs. Such teachings make some christians give not with with the purpose of being a blessing to the body of Christ or some charitable cause but they give with the sole purpose of ‘getting something back’ for their giving.
Honour the Lord with thy substance,
and with the firstfruits of all thine increase:
So shall thy barns be filled with plenty,
and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.
The primary reason why we give is to honour The Lord. It isn’t to make The Lord indebted to us or ‘owe us something.’ It is important that we clarify our motives for giving because if our motives are wrong, what we do will not be blessed nor rewarded by The Lord. The Lord rewards us only when we obey His instructions with a right heart.
Some pastors teach that your spirituality and relationship with the Lord can be measured by how much money you put in the offering plate and by how much you support church projects financially. These pastors teach that the more money you give to the church the more pleased God becomes with you and the richer you will become. This is nothing but a bold faced lie and spiritual deception. Giving to kingdom and God inspired projects and causes is good and should be encouraged, however our giving is not a reflection of our spirituality. The Lord is more concerned about the state of our souls than the amount of money we give in church. When your heart is right with The Lord, your giving will take care of itself.
41 Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts.
42 But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents.
43 Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. 44 They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.”
Jesus pointed out in this passage of scripture that those who gave the ‘largest mounts’ were not necessarily the highest, best or most spiritual givers. Giving huge amounts didn’t make them more spiritual than anybody else. Their giving did not reflect the spiritual state of their hearts. It is interesting to note that Jesus never commended those who ‘gave out of the abundance of what they had.’ He was in no way deceived, neither was He impressed by the money they gave. He could see into their hearts and saw the arrogance and pride with which they brought their offerings to the temple, trying to hide behind their huge gifts instead of genuinely yielding their lives to serve the Lord in truth. But The Lord was impressed with the woman who gave from her very soul. She gave as an act of worship and not as a hypocritical show or as a means to impress the pastor or The Lord.
Smooth talking preachers manipulate the spiritually ignorant to empty their accounts and bring all their money to the church. Many who thought that the more money they gave, the more spiritual they became, have given everything they have to these smooth talking pastors only to discover that such pastors became rich while they struggled financially. These pastors boast about how much money they give as if their giving would impress the Lord. Through the years many have been disappointed and disillusioned by such teachings. Many have seen through the insincerity, lies and deception of such preachers and left their churches. Some have even given up on their walk with The Lord because they were deceived.
There’s more to giving than having financial breakthroughs and getting rich.
Giving is part of our spiritual worship.
Giving is not a tool to manipulate the hand of God to move or do something for you.
Giving doesn’t put heaven in your debt.
Giving doesn’t qualify us for the blessings, gifts and promotions of heaven, if it did then it wouldn’t be by grace, it would be by our works.
We live in a quick fix generation. People want their issues solved before the end of the sunday morning service. It doesn’t matter if it is an issue that has lingered for years, they want the preacher to wave a magic wand over their heads and solve that issue instantly. If you present giving as a way of getting something from God, many people who desire a short cut to whatever blessings or breakthroughs they desire will give anything they have with the intention of receiving an instant solution to their problems. Then if nothing happens, they become disillusioned and get angry with God.
Many have been motivated by a covetous preacher to give in order to receive a huge financial harvest. They were moved by greed and not by the Holy Spirit speaking to their hearts. They were moved to give by their flesh. It wasn’t an act of obedience to a divine instruction. Greed driven giving will never produce the results you expect. God does not reward our greed, He rewards our obedience.
Will any man of you who has a servant plowing or tending sheep say to him when he has come in from the field, Come at once and take your place at the table?
Will he not instead tell him, Get my supper ready and gird yourself and serve me while I eat and drink; then afterward you yourself shall eat and drink?
Is he grateful and does he praise the servant because he did what he was ordered to do?
Even so on your part, when you have done everything that was assigned and commanded you, say, We are unworthy servants [possessing no merit, for we have not gone beyond our obligation]; we have [merely] done what was our duty to do.
This passage of scripture teaches very clearly that when The Lord instructs us to serve or do some specific thing for the kingdom, it is our duty and responsibility to do it as kingdom servants without thinking that the Lord ‘owes us something’ and without demanding anything in return from The Lord. As God’s servants we are committed to do His will no matter the cost. If you don’t like this arrangement with the Lord, there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. That’s just the way it is.
This post is going to be very disappointing to some of you who think that the offering plate is a spiritual lottery or roulette table and your giving activates the winning numbers. Some of you think that your giving entitles you to some kind of financial jackpot. It doesn’t. Many have turned the house of God into a gambling casino. They have turned spiritual activities into carnal pursuits which have no real profit. In their search for money and material things they have desecrated a sacred act of worship and turned it into an abomination. They have turned the holy thing into something profane. Rather than worship The Lord with our freewill financial gifts, we have become desperate givers who try to pressure or manipulate The Lord to do something for us through our financial gifts.
Giving is part of our spiritual worship. It is not a way or means to get something from The Lord. If you desire something from The Lord, ask in prayer, ask in faith and your request shall be granted. We don’t need to ‘give to get.’ That is gambling. That is not how the kingdom of God operates. The Lord doesn’t need anything from you to bless you. He doesn’t need you to give anything before He transforms your life. All He requires from us is our obedience to do His Will.
Contrary to what some pastors teach, you don’t need to give to make more money. Work is the means by which we put our talents, skills and abilities to use in the market place and we are rewarded financially. If you want to make money, dedicate yourself to your work. So if your purpose for coming to church or serving The Lord is to ‘get rich’, you are in error. Money is a reward for goods and services rendered in the market place. Money is a reward for value. That is the simple reason why unbelievers who know absolutely nothing about the kingdom are rich financially. The market place doesn’t reward our religious beliefs, it only recognises and rewards value. Anyone who tells you that you will ‘get rich’ only when you give money to a church or ministry is deceiving you. Money moves in the direction of value. As a believer you should ask The Lord to bless the work of your hands according to His promise, not because of how much you have ‘invested’ in the kingdom.
We must understand that we have been bought with a price. Everything we own belongs to the Lord. It doesn’t belong to your pastor or some powerful prophet but it belongs to the Lord. The moment we submitted our lives to the Lordship of Christ we nailed all our dreams, desires, hopes and rights to His cross and left them there. We handed over the control of our lives to the Master. Jesus Christ owns us. He owns us completely. Our talents, abilities, gifts, skills, beauty, etc, belong to the Lord. That means that there is nothing we possess that belongs to us. It all belongs to The Lord.
When The Lord says, “My daughter, give that designer bag to sister Gladys,” He is not negotiating with you. He is giving you an instruction and the only thing He expects from you is obedience and in this instance it will involve you emptying that bag of all your personal belonging, packaging it in a beautiful way and handing it over to its new owner. When The Lord tells you, “My son, sell your land and give 50% of the money to orphanage X in Romania,” all He expects of you is to sell that land as soon as you possibly can and send the money to orphanage X in Romania. When The Lord tells you, “Daughter, study genetic engineering in Japan,” it is not a suggestion, it is a divine command. Therefore you should forget your plan to read aeronautics engineering and obey The Lord. Some of us may make bigger sacrifices than others,but that doesn’t entitle us to anything special or make the Lord indebted to us. That is the agreement or covenant we entered into with the Lord when we received Him into our lives. When The Lord moves our hearts to give sacrificially towards a kingdom cause or project, we should do it with joy and not boast about it because as faithful servants we have done that which was our duty to do and nothing more.