The 3 Standards of Giving

Giving is a matter of the heart. The New Testament gives us the grace and freedom to become more like Jesus, not less.

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Giving is a matter of the heart. The New Testament gives us the grace and freedom to become more like Jesus, not less.

Giving is a matter of the heart. The New Testament gives us grace and freedom, but that grace and freedom transform us into being more like Jesus, not less. When I discuss giving under the grace of the New Testament, I like to identify three standards of giving: should give, could give, and would give.
 
Proportionate Giving
 
There are Christians who’ve never even considered tithing, and there are others who tithe to the penny. I’d like to free people at both ends of the spectrum, either from a position of resistance and shame or from a position of living by the letter of the law. Today I invite you to look at tithing through a fresh lens. As you consider where you fall on the should-give continuum, ask God to explode your view of giving, enabling you to see it as a powerful antidote to financial stress, materialism, and control.
 
Proportionate giving is the type of giving Paul taught in 2 Corinthians, where he commended the Macedonians for giving according to their ability (see 8:3). He had earlier encouraged the Corinthians to give as they had prospered (see 1 Cor. 16:2) . This is what I refer to as proportionate giving. All of us have the ability to give at least a tithe. If God expected tithing from the poorest of the Israelites, surely that amount is within all our abilities. However, beware of the temptation to think of 10 percent of your income as God’s and 90 percent as yours. Remember, it’s all God’s.
 
Planned Giving
 
This giving simply represents an amount we could give if we were willing to give up something else. It may mean we plan to give up a vacation, a savings account, a lifestyle desire, or another possession. Intentional, planned giving is the closest most Americans will get to the sacrificial giving described in Luke 21:4 and 2 Corinthians 8:2-4.
 
Imagine the possibilities. We could bless the world in so many ways if we took the time to dream and then act.
 
Precommited Giving
 
This type of giving is faith giving. We commit ourselves to giving if the Lord provides us the means to do it. For instance, you may say if God gives you an extra one thousand dollars, you’ll give it to a certain missions organization. Because you don’t have that money available or don’t feel called to give from your surplus, you precommit to giving something specific away if God provides you a way to do it. It’s a great opportunity to dream big and then step out in faith when the Lord provides.

Excerpted from God Owns It All by Ron Blue. © 2016 LifeWay Press. Used by permission.