“...that I may gain Christ and be found in him...”—Philippians 3:8-9, NIV1984

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Financial Equality Among Churches

12 For if the readiness is there, it is acceptable according to what a person has, not according to what he does not have. 13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened, but that as a matter of fairness 14 your abundance at the present time should supply their need, so that their abundance may supply your need, that there may be fairness. 15 As it is written, “Whoever gathered much had nothing left over, and whoever gathered little had no lack.”—2 Corinthians 8:12-15
One way that God wants us to show our love and care for other brothers and sisters in Christ is through helping to supply for their needs. God wants us to give according to what we have. If we have an abundance, we should give generously. If we have a little, we should give a little. The amount we give is between us and God. This way there won’t be one church that is very rich and gluttonous while people in other churches can barely survive.

According to God, churches have the responsibility to care for the needs of the people. God did not give this responsibility to the government. While the role of the government is a large topic, it is definitely not the government’s role to redistribute wealth. Rather individuals in churches can and should give according to their ability to fund the overall mission of the church and also help others personally.

One of the problems that many believers have, at least in America, is that we really don’t have any idea what we have or don’t have to give. We don’t manage our money well. Our level of wealth is really an illusion, and probably heavily influenced by what the media says about the economy. I am so thankful for one brother who gave me a copy of Crown Financial Ministries’ Biblical Financial Study as a graduation gift. I read it and completed the workbook, and from that point on, have tracked my income and expenses and used a budget. Now I know exactly what I have and how much I can give. Having this kind of understanding on my financial situation has given me much peace about making financially significant decisions. I can not imagine living any differently.