What is the antidote to materialism? Generosity. Easily sharing the things we have, and giving money and possessions away reminds us that they are temporal and God-given. It helps us hold them loosely and treasure Christ more than riches. Last week I posted on the dangers of materialism and this week I wanted to follow that up with another list from Randy Alcorn’s book on giving (Money, Possessions and Eternity). I’ll just give you a snippet of his paragraphs, if you want more you’ll have to find the book….
- Give. Christians give. There are no exceptions. Not all will give the same, but all will give (2 Cor 9:7)
- Give Generously. Love generates lavish giving.
- Give Regularly. Unless people give systematically, they rarely give substantially.
- Give Deliberately. We should avoid giving that is done automatically, without thought, prayer, and worship.
- Give Voluntarily. The principle is not “give voluntarily or don’t give at all,” but “as your heart is moved, give voluntarily above and beyond your regular giving.”
- Give Sacrificially. Sacrificial giving is parting with what we’d rather keep.
- Give Excellently. Like piano playing, giving is a skill. With practice, we get better.
- Give Cheerfully. God takes delight in the believer who takes delight in giving (2 Cor 9:).
- Give Worshipfully. Giving should be rooted in “Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!” (2 Cor 9:15).
- Give Proportionately. ‘In God’s sight, my giving is measured not by how much I have given, but by how much I could have given and how much I had left after I made my gift.’ (quoting Tozer)
- Give Quietly. “Be careful not to let your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them” (Mt 6:1).
We need to hear this -not because the church needs more money, but because our hearts need more pruning. We don’t talk much about money, but it is one of the areas we most need to be challenged to better reflect Christ’s generosity and to cultivate a longing for heavenly treasure.