Should You Wait to Give Until You Have Enough Money?

by Jason on December 26, 2009

Maybe you’ve asked this question before:

“Should I give money even though I am in debt”

– or maybe phrased this way –

“Should I give money even though I don’t have much to give?”

Usually this question can be turned into an objection for giving – such as, “I just don’t have any money to give right now, I’ll start giving once I have a little more.”

This weekend we take a look at whether this is Biblical to wait to give money or not.  Our text will be from 2 Corinthians 8 – a famous passage on giving and a challenging one as well.

2 Corinthians 8:1-4:

We want you to know, brothers,  about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 2 for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3 For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, 4 begging us earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints—

I highlighted a couple of key points in this text.  Here’s what we notice:

  1. They didn’t let troubles dissuade them from giving (v.2)
  2. They gave joyfully (v.2)
  3. They were extremely poor (v.2)
  4. They gave according to their means and beyond (v.3)

Here’s the ESV Study Bible notes for reflection:

God’s grace was manifested in that the Macedonians gave even though they were poor. What surprised Paul was that the Macedonians also gave themselves first to the Lord (a recommitment of their lives) and then . . . to us; they offered not only money but also any other personal help they could give to Paul.

But I don’t have money to give

As evidenced by the believers in Macedonia, they gave even though they were extremely poor!  Not just a little poor, not just a little tight each month, but they were in extreme poverty – and yet – they gave abundantly with great joy!

It’s hard to read that and then continue our excuses of why we don’t give enough.

I already give enough

For those who are thinking, “I already give plenty”, this passage is an indicting one as well.

Notice the phrase wealth of generosity in the passage above?  That doesn’t mean they gave enough to satisfy some legal requirement or enough to satiate their own consciences.

They gave abundantly, much more than they probably could have or should have – but they didn’t care about the money!

Why should we give even when we don’t have it

So this weekend, as we sit back and relax and look at all the gifts we gave and received for Christmas take some time to reflect on why we should be generous with our wealth to those in need.

Here’s three reasons why we should be generous even when we don’t have it:

1. We have more than we think

Be honest, we have way more than we think we have.  Even when we think we have nothing, we have plenty to give.   Our problem is we compare ourselves upward to the next standard of living up rather than down to the next standard of living.

2. We need to rearrange our priorities to place more emphasis on giving rather than getting

Often times why we don’t give is simply a matter of misplaced priorities.  We view getting ahead, saving and accumulating stuff as more important than giving to those in need.

3. Your greatest return on investment will be giving to the Lord

If I told you that if you gave me $100 I’d give you back $10,000 would you make that investment?

Of course you would and yet we have an offer infinitely better than that.  God promises to reward us eternally for the way we give and use our money.

How about you? Do you think we should give money if we don’t have it?

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