Billy Graham

Billy Graham: Let Christ be your example when it comes to giving

Q: Our church has just been through its annual drive to raise money for its budget, and to be honest I got tired of hearing our preacher talk about money all the time. Did Jesus ever pressure people to give money? — T.N.

A: No, Jesus didn’t pressure people to give money to support his little band of disciples, nor is there any evidence that he ever actually asked people for money. A few women of wealth quietly supported his work, but that is the only mention of people giving to his ministry (see Luke 8:3).

Don’t draw the wrong conclusion from this, however. Every ministry needs financial support, and it’s not wrong to make God’s people aware of those needs and seek their help. The Apostle Paul, for example, went out of his way to urge churches to give money for Christians who were in great need. This giving, he wrote, “is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God” (2 Corinthians 9:12).

Remember: Everything we have — including our money — is a gift from God. We can’t take credit for it, nor should we use it selfishly or thoughtlessly. Instead, we should seek to use it wisely and for God’s glory. When we give to God’s work, we are only returning to him a portion of what he has already given us.

I don’t know, of course, if your pastor gave too much attention to your church’s finances; that is between him and God. But don’t let this keep you from being as generous as you possibly can. Instead, let Christ be your example in your giving. In heaven he possessed everything, and yet he sacrificed it all — even his life — so we could be saved.

Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to