Leader to Leader, Stewardship

Some Myths and Truths about Giving

March 18, 2016 | Posted by John Kieschnick

Have you ever heard anyone say, “All Macy’s wants is my money.” Probably not. How about this statement? “All Sears wants is my money.” You likely haven’t heard that comment either. But here’s one you have heard: “All the Church wants is my money.” What a myth! While it is true that the Lord of the Church wants all of us, including our money, the Church is God’s way of allowing the evidence and the riches of His grace to flow through us to bless other people. He allows us to be rivers of His generosity rather than reservoirs of His grace. Paul reminds us, “about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, 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.” 2 Corinthians 8:1-2

And this leads to another myth communicated to people, “The poor can’t give anything financially.” Paul reminds us that the poor of Macedonia certainly didn’t let their “severe affliction and extreme poverty” prevent them from giving. The truth is when they were in dire straits and gave anyway they experienced an “abundance of joy” and a “wealth of generosity.” While it is true that there may be extreme cases where someone can’t give financially, need we remind ourselves of this truth: According to Jesus, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them (the rich). For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:2

Here’s one more myth. I’ve heard it said, “Christians, especially the wealthy ones, give primarily for tax reasons.” While it is true that there is a deduction allowed on your income taxes if you itemize, it is also true that the government doesn’t give you back more than you give. The truth is God’s grace is at work in the act of giving. When Paul wrote to the Corinthians about the Macedonian churches and their generosity, he began this section of his letter with these words, “We want you to know, brothers, about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia…” and then added, “they gave according to their means…and beyond their means, of their own accord.” 2 Corinthians 8:1 & 3

 Don’t be fooled by myths. Learn to practice the truth. It really does set one free!

John Kieschnick
Born in Walburg, Texas, the second youngest of nine children, John Kieschnick received a B.S. in Education from Concordia Teachers’ College, River Forest, Ill. Throughout his ministry, John has served on a variety of synodical boards and committees, both national and district (Texas). He has authored numerous stewardship Bible studies and programs.