Giving That Hurts

Thursday, May 2, 2013
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Listen while you read: "Lead Me To Calvary"1 (Lyrics)

Finances going south and a pressing question: should I keep giving to God, cut back, or cut it out entirely?

I was always taught that we couldn't outgive God, but what about when giving means an unpaid bill, a missed meal, an empty gas tank, or insufficient funds for the children's lunches? Can we hold back then?

These were situations that I dealt with when employment was lost and two incomes suddenly contracted into one — and the one was less than half of the previous. Something or someone was going to miss out if I gave — or gave as much as I knew I should. Doubt and anxiety reigned, and I chose to skimp on God — not completely, but enough for Him to demonstrate what lack of trust can do: dry up what little I kept back.

Cheating God out of what belongs to Him clouds the conscience. Paul taught liberal giving and said that He is "the God I serve with a clear conscience" (2 Timothy 1:3 NLT). Malachi challenged God's people to do the same:

Malachi 3:10 – "Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do," says the Lord of Heaven's Armies, "I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test!" (NLT)

Giving liberally, regularly, and joyfully of my time, money, and talents recognizes God's ownership of everything I have. He's made it possible for me to collect every possession I own in trust. Giving with these attitudes recognizes His authority over every area of my life. Rebellion against authority is common, but rebelling against God's authority is foolish. Through my giving, in whatever form it takes, I submit to Christ's lordship and enjoy His blessings. If life's curves have caused you to give up on giving to God, recommit to returning a portion to Him and watch Him open the floodgates of heaven.

Prayer: Eternal God, we acknowledge that everything we have comes from You. Equip us with the faith to trust You with everything we have and to give to You and others accordingly. Amen.

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About the author:

Martin Wiles <>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Yes a million times over to your writings today.

    Thanks Martin – this is a good reminder in these difficult economic times.

    Thank you for today’s excellent devotional, Martin.
    Blessings be with you and your loved ones.

    Dear Martin;
    Yes, everything that we have we have from God’s almighty hand. Thank you for your reminder to give in faith and trust!

    Dear Martin!
    Thanks for writing to us today.
    You are right, releasing–giving to the LORD is a sign of trust in the relationship. I had not thought of it that way.

    Hi Martin,
    Your sure tackled a difficult subject today. How wonderful it is to know that God is no man’s debtor and that He will always provide. That is about the sum total of it all…simply trusting every day for our needs to be supplied.

    Hi Martin,
    I read your devotional today and can truly identify with that conundrum – give, don’t give, give something. I can say now that when I feel that way, I say to heck with it and give a little more than I need to. There’s no point in giving the devil a stronghold, and I haven’t starved yet! In fact, God has been very very gracious in supplying all my needs. Trusting Him is certainly the key … and the hardest to do.

    Hi Martin,
    I like what you said about giving to God “in whatever form that takes,” meaning it does not necessarily have to be money. Many Christians equate “giving” only with money and that discourages many people in situations of poverty and lack. Skimping on God comes in many forms.
    God’s blessings also do not equate “money.” Sometimes it is a blessing to lose a job or lose money; it may be what it takes to bring us back to a relationship with God!
    So my “giving that hurts” may take the form of giving time, babysitting for a single mom, inviting a single person to a special family dinner, cleaning house for an elderly person, or sending money to other members of my family who are without work or medical coverage. The possibilities to give of what we have (tithe) are endless!
    (BC, Canada)

    Great piece of writing on Giving.
    More especially connected to Tithing.
    I’m blessed by this. It is timely. A Mini – Harvest the Youth is to lead the Church this Sunday.
    Giving to hurt…..Thumbs up!

    Thank you Martin for the good reminder. We do always need to be reminded that we can never outgive our God in any area!
    Keep up the good work.
    Bless your day!
    (BC, Canada)

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