“How much do I give” How often? Who should I give to?” We want to answer all of your questions about giving. The Bible actually talks quite a bit about this. Throughout Scripture there’s over 2,000 verses about giving, money, stewardship. Jesus actually talked about money more than any other topic while He was here on earth. So there’s a lot of material in the Scriptures that teach us how we are to give and as you study the Scriptures you’ll find four basic principles for giving.
We are to make giving a priority. So the Bible tells us that giving is to be a first fruit. That we are to give our first and our best. Practically speaking what this means for us is that we’re to take a portion of our gross income and give that away. Before taxes, before any other expenditures, we are to give. It’s the very first thing that we’re to do with our finances. The giving is to be done proportionally. Meaning that we give according to what God has given to us. So those that God has given more, we give more. To those that God has given less, we give less. We give according to what God has given us.
Now it’s often asked, where do I give? Should it be my local church? Should it be other kingdom-advancing ministries? And the answer in a sense is yes, but I would start with the local church. Why? Because that’s God’s plan for advancing His kingdom. And that’s actually what we see in Scripture. We see giving done through the local church so that needs to be your starting point. Now there’s a lot of other great ministries that are out there and that’s absolutely fine to give to those ministries, but make sure that you’re giving to your local church first. That’s your first place of giving.
Now the next question is obviously, well then how much? How much should I give? You often hear the word “tithe” thrown out there and tithe means 10 percent. And what I want to encourage you if you’re not giving anywhere or not giving anything, is to make 10 percent your goal. It’s a good goal to get to.
However, maybe you’re one that says that 10 percent is something that you’ve been doing all of your life. It was never meant to be a limit. In fact, in Scripture we find giving, both in the Old Testament and the New Testament, way beyond that 10 percent mark. So it’s a good goal to get to and if, once again, if you’re not giving at all, start somewhere. Maybe give one percent for a month or two. Then go to three percent and then seven and work your way toward that 10 percent mark. So let’s give generously for the sake of advancing God’s kingdom in our community and around the world.