Often people will talk about giving money to something with a matter of urgency, stressing that now is the time to give. I certainly think that there is a right time to give money and a wrong time. I also think that there are times when God doesn’t want you to give. I am not talking about God telling us that there are specific organisations or causes that might not be a good place to give money to, I am talking about what is happening inside us when we part with our money.
So here are two reasons that God doesn’t want your money…
1. If you are trying to get something…
As I understand the definition of witchcraft, it is when a person invokes, or conjures a being to do their own bidding. If we follow that through to its natural progression, then the act of witchcraft is possibly not too far away from our own doors. You may think that’s a bit of a stretch but if we give of our money to God through the church or other organisations for the sole purpose of receiving a benefit then we are attempting to conjure something through our own efforts. Giving is a deeply spiritual event, it is an act of worship. Out of that worship good things come, not because we earnt them, or bought them, but because God is good and he chooses to bless us and the money given gets used for some amazing work.
Simon the Sorcerer faced this in Acts chapter 8. When he saw Peter and John laying hands on people, who then received the Holy Spirit as a result, he wanted to do that to. He offered the disciples money so that he could receive the ability to do what they were doing (vs 18.). Peter then tears strips off him, saying that “his heart was not right before God” (vs 21) and he was “full of bitterness and captive to sin” (vs 23).
Really, his desire was good, to be part of spreading the love and message of Jesus to people, but his motivation and understanding about God was all wrong. He was known for being a sorcerer and he received a great deal of attention as a result, but when he saw some new type of ‘sorcery’ that he didn’t recognise, he wanted to be part of it to maintain the profile. So he offered to pay for it. Peter was quick to point out that God doesn’t work that way; God is a God of grace whose love does not depend on our merit.
If you have been around a church for a while, then you would probably know the concepts of how God sees people. He looks at the heart, He cares about what is inside and not what is outside, He cares more about what a person is, rather than what a person does. These are all nice things to say but if we don’t actually believe them then we can find that we try to buy God off or at least attempt to shape His opinion with our money. God doesn’t want that.
2. If you feel like you have to…
God doesn’t want to pry your wallet or purse open. He’s not lying in wait to rob us of our hard earned cash.
The Apostle Paul wrote about this to the Corinthian church
7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Cor 9:7.
If you give money because it is the ‘right thing to do’, or you feel like you have to, then you need to ask yourself “Why?”, because it’s likely that you could be giving for the wrong motivation, and I don’t think God wants that for you. We are implored to give, but “not reluctantly or under compulsion”. If you are giving money, and hating it, stop. We’ve already talked about how God doesn’t need your money (previous post) and in this case I believe He doesn’t want it. Giving comes from the heart, if the heart is not in it then it’s not giving.
So how should we give?
God loves it when we give. He loves it when we give cheerfully. If you are reluctant or feel obliged, God not only doesn’t need your money, He doesn’t want it!
The reason to give is simple. We give in response to what we have been given. We are blessed to be a blessing. We are generous because God is generous and we have been created in His image. The language we may use to explain that could be “I give because it is the right thing to do” or “I feel like I need to give back”, but the litmus test is the attitude, the cheerfulness.
Do we give because we are cheerful, or do we become cheerful because we give? I feel like it is the former, but if you are not cheerful and are thinking about giving, definitely try that and see what the result is.
We hear quite frequently that money is the root of all evil, but that’s simply not true. It is the love of money (1 Tim 6:10) that is the root of all evil. Money itself is just at thing that we can either use or be used by. The choice is ours. I don’t think there is an in-between. We master our money, or our money masters us. The way to tell is if we are willing to give it away…
Don’t get me wrong, being dedicated and detailed about your finances doesn’t make you someone who is being mastered by money, just like being ignorant about what and how you spend doesn’t make you someone who is a master over money. The way that we go about managing our finances is not how we judge this, but it is the heart that motivates the management. Don’t be afraid to be intentional about your money, we don’t need to be afraid of it is working for us.
All this being said, giving money is still a sacrificial act, even a painful one at times, but we brought nothing into this world and we can take nothing with us when we leave (1 Timothy 6:7). So, while we live, let’s do what we can with what we have been given.