The late pastor and prolific author A.W. Tozer once wrote:
As base a thing as money often is, it yet can be transmuted into everlasting treasure. It can be converted into food for the hungry, and clothing for the poor; it can keep a missionary actively winning lost men to the light of the gospel and thus transmute itself into heavenly values. Any temporal possession can be turned into everlasting wealth. Whatever is given to Christ is immediately touched with immortality.1
The great scriptural truth in this statement (see Matthew 6:19-20) can unfortunately be taken to an extreme by some very worthy Christian ministries. While they may have the best reasons in the world to ask for money, relentless and elaborate solicitations can be a regrettable side effect of their effort to fulfill their mission.
Christian ministries that are reluctant to ask believers for help, however, may suffer the tragic consequence of seeing the ministry fall far short of its potential for the Kingdom. The best approach calls for a gracious balance between the two: making needs known and being content to wait on the Lord to supply our true needs according to His will (Philippians 4:10-19). If we are truly doing God’s work, then we do not have to exaggerate our needs or the story of our work. God’s children will be inspired to respond, as His Spirit directs, simply because the need is real, the cause is just, and God’s Kingdom work will be advanced through our efforts for Him.
As believers, our greatest incentive to give to worthy Christian ministries rests squarely on our premier example of giving: the Lord Jesus Christ. God gave His only Son to die for us, and Jesus submitted Himself to such extremes because hell is very real and eternity is forever. Forgiveness and salvation are available for all mankind precisely because Jesus cast off every possible reservation and objection, and willingly went to the cross to pay our debt. "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God" (Ephesians 2:8).
Just as faith, love, and joy are "graces," so too is the sharing of one’s means. Speaking of the grace of Christian giving, the apostle Paul wrote, "Therefore, as ye abound in every thing, in faith, and utterance, and knowledge, and in all diligence, and in your love to us, see that ye abound in this grace also" (2 Corinthians 8:7). What a wonderful thing it would be for all Christians to fully embrace a perspective of giving as a "grace"!
God has granted us the privilege of serving as the hands and feet of Christ, fulfilling His work here on earth. Those who have been given much by God have unique opportunities to direct resources into areas of need, in much the same way their spiritual needs are met by those of the "household of faith" (Galatians 6:10). But we all have the privilege of responding…indeed, we are commanded to respond…to impact eternal destinies by proclaiming His transforming gospel. This is obedience to Scripture, and the true believer will thrive when doing and supporting His work. For this is how God designed us to be.
- Tozer, A. W. 1959. The Transmutation of Wealth. Born After Midnight. Chicago, IL: Christian Publications.
* Mr. Morris is Director of Donor Relations at the Instistute for Creation Research.
Cite this article: Morris IV, H. 2011. The Grace of Christian Giving. Acts & Facts. 40 (6): 21.