Q: We just paid our taxes, and somewhat to my surprise our records showed we didn’t give hardly anything to charity or our church last year. I don’t have a question, but this was kind of a wake-up call to us, and hopefully we won’t be so forgetful this year. — D.F.
A: I’m thankful for your honesty, and I too hope you’ll be more generous in the future. What would our world be like if everyone forgot to support the work of their churches and other nonprofit organizations? The Bible says, “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:25).
Begin by realizing that all you are, and all you have, has been given to you by God. Yes, you worked for it, but who gave you the ability to work? Have you ever thanked God for this, as well as for everything else he has done for you? Put Christ first in your life, and make it your goal to serve him through your finances.
How should you give? First, give wisely. You can’t support everything; ask God to guide you to the organizations and ministries he wants you to support (beginning with your church). Second, give systematically. In other words, don’t give just when you happen to think of it, but plan and be regular in your giving. Paul told the Christians in Corinth, “On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income” (1 Corinthians 16:2).
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Finally, give generously. Jesus Christ left heaven’s glory and gave his life for us; how can we do anything less for him? God’s work requires the financial resources of God’s people, and without them, God’s work will not get done. Guard against greed, and give generously.
Write “My Answer,” Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 1 Billy Graham Parkway, Charlotte, N.C., 28201; or go to BillyGraham.org.