Maybe you cringed at the thought of reading a post about giving. It’s understandable; giving is a spiritual practices that is often difficult to speak about for myriad reasons. God, however, has shown us in His word that He intends giving to be joyous and celebratory. And that’s how He’s moved Tim and Angie Hill to feel about giving. Maybe you want to feel that way, too? Read on!
The Hills sat down to answer some questions about giving, a spiritual practice about which they are very passionate and in which they find much joy! We hope the following interview blesses you as you consider God’s view of giving and how He is inviting your heart to wade in or wade deeper into the waters of giving and generosity.
As always, thank you for your generosity and commitment to Accelerate, our one-fund that supports all ministry efforts at Immanuel.
Immanuel Church: How do you feel giving has blessed your lives?
Tim and Angie Hill: Giving to Immanuel and other charitable causes blesses our family by helping to keep money in the proper prospective. As it says in Matthew, No one can serve two masters. By giving away a portion of the blessing that God has given us, we can break the bond of servitude to money.
Giving also blesses our family by allowing us to bless others. We believe in the work Immanuel is doing. We know that Immanuel has blessed our family in so many ways and we want to be a part of helping Immanuel bless others. We believe in the work done by the other charities we support and we want to help, if only in a small way. Perhaps it is an over-used cliche that it is better to give than to receive, but I am sure most people can think of a time where they gave their time or an item, or money to help someone-out and they left knowing that they were the ones truly blessed. That is how we feel about our giving.
IC: What role does your faith in God have in your giving practices?
Tim and Angie: Faith plays a critical role in our giving because we are 100% confident that God will use the money for the purpose he intends. Without this faith, we would be more likely to doubt how the money would be spent and thus would likely not feel as generous or would at least be less joyful about giving. A confidence that we are giving back a small portion of what God first gave to us and knowing that giving is part of God’s plan makes giving an expression of faith rather than a burden or something we are “supposed” to do.
IC: If you were part of a committee responsible for relaying the importance about the practice of giving in the Church, how would you express this message to others?
First, we would need a catchy slogan like Haggai 2:8, “The silver is mine and the gold is mine, declares the Lord Almighty.” Or how about Malachi 3:10, “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.”
Money and giving are often difficult for people and church communities to discuss. I believe that is because too many people give from a sense of guilt or duty. It says in 2 Corinthians 9:7 “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.” I believe this has to be the key to any promotion of giving. It has to be about giving because of a sense of gratitude rather than a sense of necessity.
Also, while monetary giving is important, it’s important to focus on giving time and talents in addition to treasures.
Lastly, I believe some see a Biblical tithe of 10 percent as unobtainable, and, thus, become frustrated. But we don’t need to be frustrated at the thought of giving a specific amount. Bob Goff said at the Loves Does summit, “Focus on who you are becoming.” Make a plan, set a goal and strive toward it. In the words of Goff, “Pitch, pick and point!”
IC: If there was a point at which you didn’t give, what are the differences in your lives now compared to then?
I can remember a time when giving at Church was an act of seeing what I had in my wallet, deciding what I could afford, and then needing to been seen putting something in the offering plate. It was something I probably should do because God and the people around me were watching.
We moved away from this by deciding to become more intentional in our giving just as we were becoming more intentional in our faith. This involved making a commitment in our giving and signing up for an automatic giving program. It also meant having a plan to move from the current level of giving we were at to a tithe over a number of years. As we did this, giving no longer felt like a burden. It felt like a blessing. It no longer was “paying” a portion of our hard earned money. It was expressing our gratitude for the abundance God has place in our care. It was no longer selfishness. It became stewardship.