For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor,so that you through his poverty might become rich.
2 Cor 8:9
…if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.
2 Cor 8:12
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
2 Cor 9:6-8
Why Does This Matter? Thoughts on Giving
Money. Those who don’t have any want to know how to get some. Those who have some want to know how to get more. Those who have more want to know how to keep from losing it! Money is important in the world we live in– often inappropriately so. Did you know that Jesus had more to say about money than anything else? In fact he spoke about money five times more than any other subject.
That makes sense though dosen’t it? Money is at the core of our need to be safe. To protect ourselves and our loved ones, to make a life that beats uncertainty and adds pleasure. The problem is, as someone once remarked, money makes a great servant and a terrible master. For most of us, in a materialistic, consumer society, our relationship with money is problematic. In the Charis community we are learning about what it means to worship and live for God. And we believe that really has to touch everything. That means it has to touch our money.
See, because we are human beings who have an economic life, worshiping God should include a progressive and joyful surrender of our financial life to God and his purposes in the world. This releasing of the need to control a portion of our finances is really important and strangely enough, has the effect of lessening money’s control over us.And that freedom from being controlled (by food, by sex, or by money) by something other than God lies at the heart of every significant spiritual discipline. And it really helps us to grow as faithful people.
The thing is, when we give up control of our money by giving it away, it’s not there for us and our needs anymore, and that can be scary at first. We may think, “well, who will take care of me?” It requires trust. Trusting that God will care for us means acting as if God is more real than the money in our bank account. That isn’t always easy. It takes practice. But it will grow you. That’s certain. And that’s why at Charis, one of our corporate spiritual practices is charity. Charity means learning to be generous. Generous with our forgivenss, our time, our acceptance of others and…with our money.
Having a healthy understanding of, and relationship to money is critical to live life fully in the way of Jesus. We shoot for giving away 10% of our resources, and while this number is not set in stone, and some may choose to give more, we believe the giving away of 10% of our income has served as a starting point for followers of Jesus, and has been practiced by Christians throughout history.
If you cant give 10% then start where you’re able. Ask God what amount would serve as an expression of your commitment to live a surrendered life, as a symbol of your desire to find an appropriate place for money in your life. Maybe you don’t change everything all at once. Just begin to head in that direction. Hey, I struggle with this stuff. And as the leader of this community it is my commitment that we will struggle with it collectively. Because churches have the same issues with money as individuals. We need to do the right things with our collective money as well. We may not have all the answers but it’s important to keep the questions in front of us.
We provide several different ways that you can practice generosity and participate in our financial life, knowing that we’re giving it away too. You can give when you worship with us on Sundays by putting your offering in the tithe bowl in the room. You can also send your tithe by mail to: Charis247, P.O. Box 215, Coraopolis PA 15108, or by setting up an automatic payment through your online banking service.
And finally, you can also give to the mission of Charis247 by going online, through PayPal. You don’t need a PayPal account, just a debit/check card. But please note that PayPal takes about 3% of each transaction.
If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org .