How can we do faultless giving in the eyes of our Lord, and others? We need to do our giving in an ethical way, so that it pleases the Lord, and those who might watch us give our gifts and donations. But what exactly are those ethical ways? Are there really right and wrong ways to do our giving?
The Apostle Paul thought so, for he wrote in 2 Corinthians 8:20-21, "We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift. For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord, but also in the eyes of men."
So the administration or "way of giving" is important too. Just pause to think; has the way a gift was given to you ever bothered you? Did you sense a wrong motive, for instance? Have you ever given a gift that was given in an improper manner?
Our answers are 'yes.' So let's make a list and see what to avoid and what to make an effort to do in the future.
The most obvious is to give for selfish motives. We all resent such an attitude, and it demeans the gift we receive in that manner. But do we expect or demand something in return for the 'faultless giving' we do, or do we try gain certain points with our gift?
Some give for a subtle controlling power. The recipient is to gratefully serve and bend to our wishes.
Perhaps the gift is given to show off our 'generosity' - to gain respect of others.
Others may not be aware, but sometimes a person will skim off a portion of the gift for themselves before they give it. That is wrong too.
Apply some fore-thought and planning. That will improve both the gift and our giving.
Give privately for the most part, and as humbly and graciously as possible. A gift that is given from a group to an individual to show honour and recognition almost has to be given in public to accomplish that purpose. But most other gifts could be given in private.
Show respect for your reciplents. Accept their thanks and favours without disparaging yourself or the gift. Express your kindness and respect verbally; it will strengthen the value of your gift.
Be totally honest and upright in your records and in your presentation speech. Don't make the gift out to be bigger than it is. The truth will come out eventually and the recipient may despise you for it.
Finally, I think our giving will be most faultless when we give deference to the Lord's prompting and guidance.
Yes, God really does care about the gifts we give and how we give them. This goes back all the way to Cain and Abel. Remember that story? God accepted Abel's sacrifice (gift to God) because he followed the prescribed instructions. God rejected Cain's sacrifice (gift) because he just gave a portion of his garden produce or crops and no death for his sins was involved. His gift did not show respect for God and His laws the way Abel's did. Upon being confronted, Cain committed the first murder in the Bible.
See? God does take how we give seriously. Attitudes matter to Him. That is why I say that we can ask God for guidance in our giving; to whom, just when, and with what attitudes we give. He wants to help us learn to do faultless giving at every turn in our lives.
Give it some thought. No doubt, you can come up with more guidelines from your common sense, and from the Bible. Then make it your goal and desire to give faultlessly.If these guidelines raise new questions in your mind, browse around on this site. You may just find the answers. Check the Articles Index, the Givers Index, (real examples), the Ideas/How-tos Index, and Worthy Causes Index
Let me know your thoughts and questions on giving in response to these articles.
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