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November 2016


When I was 18 years old, I was struck with a simple idea that changed my life forever: Every dollar that passes through my fingers has the potential to help someone in physical or spiritual need. It doesn’t take a lot to radically transform someone’s life. And unless my money is stolen from me, I choose how every dollar is used. I could choose to give every dollar I ever receive to missions or to the church or to the poor. I don’t think we should give away every dollar. But if we view every dollar as a potential life changer, it will revolutionize the way we handle our money.



All of us must carefully consider what the Bible says and use our money in ways that align with God’s heart as described in His Word. But these biblical principles of money do not only apply to individuals. They apply to churches, ministries, and mission boards as well. In fact, these Christian institutions ought to be held to a higher standard because people work hard and make difficult sacrifices to give money to Christian institutions for the glory of God.


Christians have the right and responsibility to give their offerings to those whom they feel will use it most for God’s glory. Every Christian should be involved in a local church, and that includes giving an offering. However, the Bible never tells us how much or what percentage to give to our local church. So, if we believe it would glorify God more to give a portion of our offering this month to an unsaved friend who is tight on rent, to the local homeless shelter, or to pastors in unreached areas who don’t even have Bibles, then we have a responsibility to do so.


Knowing Jesus for the first time, growing in relationship with Him, and helping others know Him are the most important things in the universe. So a large portion of our money should go as directly as possible for things like evangelism, discipleship, church-planting, outreach to the poor, training for ministry, etc. The goal of every Christian organization should be to keep administrative costs as low as possible so that more resources can be used for direct ministry.



"God loves a cheerful giver" (2 Corinthians 9:7), because giving is a matter of the heart. The way we spend our money shows what we value. Giving to God shows that we value Him, but so does a cheerful heart. A person who values the Kingdom of God will be overflowing with excitement to give away money for the good of others.


Another way to show how much we value the Kingdom is by sacrificing for it. Give until it hurts. Nobody is asking you to give up all the joys and pleasures in your life, but if you always buy exactly what you want without thinking about how that money might help someone in need, that might be a problem. So skip that coffee or that new pair of shoes or that shiny new toy once in a while and consciously give that money for the advancement of the Kingdom.

These principles for giving can be quite helpful, but be careful. When you start to see your money changing lives in radical ways for Jesus, it’s addicting. You might not be able to stop. 


This article emphasizes money, but words like “money” and “dollars” could be replaced with words like “time” and “minutes.” Time is a valuable resource that must be managed for God’s glory as well. Rest is important. Fun is important. Health and staying energized are important. But the point is that we must at least consider our choices to determine if we are using our resources in ways that glorify God most in light of the great physical and spiritual need in the world.


For Reflection:

2 Corinthians 8-9, Mark 12:41-44, 1 John 3:17-18, James 1:27

I am currently serving long term in India. I have a passion for bringing the gospel to unreached slums. My hobbies include singing along to Christian rap music and playing sports.

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