God has designed us for generosity. When we give, we reflect God’s generosity toward us. Giving demonstrates our trust in God’s promises and provision.
The goal of this article is not to minimize life’s challenges. Life can be difficult. The goal of this article is to encourage you and others not to set aside God’s design for you, causing you to miss out on His promises and provisions. Regardless of your life situation, God’s design is never something to run from but always something to run toward.
I’ve run into many individuals and couples who decided to stop giving. Most of the time, the reason is not from a total loss of income, but some other pressure or desire. Most of the time, their total ceasing of generosity was the wrong decision.
The Bible tells us we are to make giving a priority, to give proportionally, to give sacrificially, and to give cheerfully. The generosity principles are woven through Scripture. What do you not see? Reasons to stop giving.
So, if you are considering eliminating your giving, let me note four wrong times to stop giving.
1. When your income decreases.
Maybe you go from a dual income household to a single income household. Maybe you don’t make as many commissions as you did the prior year. Maybe your company reduces salaries. Maybe you just took a lesser-paying job. Whatever the reason, your income has been decreased.
When this occurs, households must make several budgetary adjustments. And there can be a temptation to eliminate generosity, even for a short time. During these times, it is important to remember that the Bible doesn’t tell us to maintain a certain level of giving, only to give proportionally, giving according to what God has given us. Instead of eliminating generosity, adjust your generosity to reflect your new income.
2. When you decide to pay off debt.
Debt is a generosity killer. Are you wanting to pay off your debt? Let’s do this. I am in your corner.
Many who are on their debt-elimination journey are very aggressive. They put anything and everything toward their burdensome debts. Unfortunately, sometimes the “anything and everything” includes their generosity. They reason that they will restart their generosity once their debts are paid.
This is a mistake. We must not let one bad decision (getting into a bunch of debt) lead us to make another bad decision (ignoring biblical generosity). Even during times of aggressive debt elimination, make proportional generosity the priority.
3. When you are in between churches.
Individuals and couples often find themselves breaking their pattern of giving during times of church transition. Most of the time, they simply don’t know where to give. Do they give to their old church or somewhere else?
During times of church transition, it is important to maintain your giving. There are various good options available. You could give to your old church. You could give to recently visited churches. You could give to a church that ministers to a community with low financial resources. The main thing is to keep giving. Generosity should not stop when you find yourself between churches.
4. When you feel like your generosity cannot make a difference.
Some individuals will look at the amount they give and wonder whether their generosity really matters. If this is you, let me assure you—it matters. First, God is a God of multiplication. He is the one who used a few fish and loaves of bread to feed thousands (Matthew 14:13-21). And He can multiply the impact of your generosity.
Second, the story of the Widow’s Mite (Luke 21:1-4) teaches us that, in God’s economy, amount sacrificed supersedes amount giving. God is more concerned about what’s left at home than what’s placed in the offering plate. Giving is not about a certain dollar amount. Giving is about the heart. Having little is not a time to withhold giving. It is a time to demonstrate sacrificial generosity.
When life throws challenges at you, keep giving. God is using your generosity, even during difficult times, to impact lives and to mold your heart to look more like His heart. Don’t run from God’s design for you and your money. Chase after it.