Questions about giving and donating

Questions-about-giving-tn

Q

Is it really more difficult for a wealthy person to get to heaven?

a

There is a story in the Bible where a rich young ruler asks Jesus if he is saved. The man walks away after Jesus tells him to “sell all you have and give to the poor” (Matt 19:16-25). New Church theology points out that it isn’t really the wealth itself, but how one uses wealth that is the issue. In the story, the rich young ruler symbolizes a person who sets his heart on the accumulation of wealth. A person who thinks true happiness depends on material possessions is mistaken. Such happiness is short lived. Rather, true happiness relies on using that wealth to help others.

Q

The Bible says: “Give and it will be given to you” (Luke 6:38). Does this mean I will become rich if I am generous?

a

Practicing generosity will not necessarily make a person wealthy. However, that does not mean that generosity is not a spiritually valuable practice. Studies have shown that a person’s feelings of wealth is connected to set giving patterns rather than the quantity of wealth that they have saved. If you want to experience feeling wealthy, then give. This reflects a spiritual principle. If you wish to experience the life flowing in from heaven you must live a life that is directed toward serving others. That is one reason why Jesus says: “freely you have received, freely give” (Matt 10:8).

Q

Does it matter who or what cause I give to as long as I give?

a

Yes. The Bible says: “What man is there among you who, if his son asks for bread will give him a stone?” (Matt 7:9). We are taught to exercise judgment when giving. We are also taught that there is deeper value to supporting spiritual services when compared to more external services. A person who contributes meaningfully to a church can be supporting the eternal happiness of another. And being able to promote happiness in a person’s life that will last to eternity is a very powerful contribution!

Q

How much should I give?

a

The Bible speaks of giving the first tenth that a person receives in income as one’s tithe back to the Lord. However that is not a hard and fast rule. The stories about tithing are about the need to recognize that everything we have that is worth anything is a gift from the Lord. Still, many today do tithe (give 1/10 of their income to their church) as a way of marking an intention to give spiritually to God’s Church, while also giving to the church in this natural world. The Bible offers wonderful reminders of giving: “A good man out of the treasure of his heart brings forth good things” (Matt. 12:35) and “Serve the Lord with gladness” (Psalm 100:2). Giving should be a joyful experience. A friend of mine once quipped: “Don’t give until it hurts, give until it feels good!” That advice reflects the reality of increased joy when one is serving others.

 


David Lindrooth is director of General Church Outreach, in Bryn Athyn, PA. Email him at [email protected]

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Daily Inspiration

"God is substance itself and form itself. Angels and people are substances and forms from Him."

True Christian Religion 20