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The Giving Season

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The Giving Season - December 06, 2005

"Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." 2 Corinthians 9:7
>From the first day of my marriage to Helen, she made sure that we tithed our income. 'Tithe' means 'tenth,' so we always gave at least a tenth of everything we earned to our church and to people in need. Tithing helps you to see material blessings as coming from God and belonging to God. First we used an envelope, then a checking account, and then a Foundation. Do it when you get it and you will have it to give away. If you don't put it in your pocket, you don't have to take it out. It all belongs to Him anyway.

Helen and I see tithing and giving as a way of investing in the things that give glory to God and making the world a better place. We want our giving to be used by God in the most effective way possible, according to His will.

As we enter this holiday "giving season," it may seem difficult to give money to charitable causes in addition to what you already are spending on gifts, decorations and parties. But I'm confident you'll discover a special joy in being generous with those in need. Try it! Start by giving ten percent of your income to the church and charities each month! Find a need and meet it! Then see what God does in your life. There's an old saying: 'Give 'til it hurts.' I say, 'Give 'til it feels good!'"

This Christmas, we should be aware of the biblical principles that guide our giving decisions:

Biblical giving is part of everyday living. In 1 Corinthians 16:2, the apostle Paul writes, "On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money" for charitable giving. Paul sets forth the principle that giving should be automatic and a part of our everyday lives.
Biblical giving is proportionate to our income. Paul continues: "set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income" God does not demand more of us than we can afford. Our giving is to be proportionate to the level of our material blessings.

Biblical giving is cheerful. In 2 Corinthians 9:7, Paul writes, "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." When you give to God with the right attitude; giving is a joy, not a burden. That joy is used by God to bring blessings to others.

Biblical giving is generous. 1 Chronicles 29:9 says, "The people rejoiced for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the Lord." Our giving should be free, wholehearted and generous.

So this Christmas, why don't you give until it feels good and experience a special joy of the season!

Rich DeVos is the former chairman of Gospel Communications. He is also the author of "Hope From My Heart: Ten Lessons for Life," co-founder of Amway Corp., and owner and chairman of the NBA's Orlando Magic.
 
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Sorry Chad, I saw this in the lenten season though it was meant for the Christmas season. Anyway what you have said is relevant for any season for a Christian and especially so in this Lenten season too. I too have no doubt whatsoever about tithing as that is what the Bible clearly says. Even though Jesus was not happy with the way the Jews gave importance to rules of tithing forgetting that more important was 'Mercy' He clearly said that we should do the latter (show mercy) without forgetting the former (tithing).

I feel with regard to tithing, we cannot mix it with 'helping the needy' as the first has to be given to spread God's word and the second to help the needy. Therefore one tenth of our incomes should go without fail in spreading God's word and ofcourse above that to help the needy. I too have experienced many blessings by doing this. After all isn't it true that 'it is in giving that we receive'?
 
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