Last night at The Conversation (our mid-week adult Bible study), we talked about giving. Always fun when the preacher talks about money. We didn’t pass around the KFC buckets, but we were close. I gave a list of seven excuses Christians use not to give. I thought I’d pass them along. Please let me know if I’ve missed any.
1. “I can’t afford to give.” Always a go to excuse. Most of us feel like we’re not in the best financial shape to give. If we had more money we’d give. Sounds plausible. It’s best, however, to avoid giving this excuse after pulling up in your new leased vehicle, with Krispy Kreme crumbs still on your pants leg and a McAllister’s Sweet Tea in the cup holder. Kinda destroys your argument.
2. “I give as God leads.” This one’s great because it’s spiritual. I mean, who would want to go against God’s leading? Everyone assumes, of course, that since you’re spiritual enough to give when God leads, that means that God leads in all of your financial decisions, including the latest round of golf or pedicure. He must have led you to that as well, right?
3. “I don’t trust churches.” This one hurts because churches can do a horrible job throwing good money after bad programs. And we’ve all seen too many televangelists heading off to jail. But just because there are a few that abuse the system, that doesn’t mean the whole system is messed up. Airplanes crash, but you still get on them. You just make sure to get on a good one that’s been checked out and safe. Find a solid church and invest there. You’ll be glad you did.
4. “I’m waiting until I have some money saved up.” This is a decent excuse because it makes it sound like you want to. You’re just waiting to give a big amount and surprise God all at once. This excuse would have a little more credence if you didn’t have $8000 in credit card bills from all the things you didn’t save up for.
5. “Giving is a spiritual gift, and I have a different gift.” You’ve got a know a little Bible to be able to pull this one off. Yes, Romans 12:8 lists giving as a spiritual gift. Not all have it, but that doesn’t let the rest of us off the hook. Some have the gift of evangelism, but we’re all supposed to share. Some just do so as their life’s passion. So, if your gift isn’t giving, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give. That just means you can get away with keeping 90% of your income.
6. “I’ll give when I have more to give.” Some feel like their tithe isn’t worth anything. If you only make $100 a week, what can the church buy with $10? Another set of pot holders for the covered dish fellowship at the end of the month? Unfortunately, giving is never really about the money. It’s about the heart. In the New Testament, Jesus praised the widow not because she gave a lot, but she gave all she had. I don’t care if you make $2 a week. Throw that $0.20 in the plate with pride.
7. “My money is mine and I can do whatever I want with it.” This is a standard last ditch effort for those desperately trying to cling to God’s money. Here’s the brutal truth: “your” money is not your money. It’s God’s money. Everything belongs to him. To help you appreciate the fact that everything is God’s, take a breath. No really, breathe. What just happened, God allowed it to happen. Your breath, your life, your money, is ultimately God’s. It’s all his anyways, so don’t try and fight him over it.
QUESTION: Any other good excuses I should add to the list?