Weekly Article Blog
Senior Pastor Dan Hawn publishes a weekly article which is also emailed to members and regular attenders. Let us know if you would like to receive this weekly article via email.
Lovers of Money
In this weeks’ article, I want to elaborate on something I said Sunday, but did not have time to develop.
The topic Sunday was the idolatry of money. This was from Ecclesiastes 5. And the point I made was that money is probably an idol if your giving is less than 10%.
This came from the book Counterfeit Gods by Timothy Keller.
The Larger Point
Don’t get caught up on the 10%. The larger point is that how much of our money we give away is a window into what we truly think about money.
Most Christians would deny being a “a lover of money,” but a neglect of what-the-Bible-calls “the grace of giving” would tend to disprove that claim.
Consider this quote from Keller:
“Your money flows most effortlessly toward your heart’s greatest love. In fact, the mark of an idol is that you spend too much money on it, and you must try to exercise self-control constantly. As Saint Paul has written, if God and his grace is the thing in the world you love most, you will give your money away to ministry, charity, and the poor in astonishing amounts (II Cor 8:7-9). Most of us, however, tend to overspend on clothing, or on our children, or on status symbols such as homes and cars. Our patterns of spending reveal our idols.”
About the 10%
Now, about that 10%. Where does that come from?
In the Old Testament, God’s people were expected to give away at least 10%. But in the New Testament, we don’t find specific, quantitative requirements for giving.
You see, for Christians, giving is a matter of the heart; there is no specific requirement. But now, consider these questions:
Have we received more of God’s revelation,
truth and grace than the OT believers, or less?
Are we more ‘debtors to grace’ than they were, or less?
Did Jesus ‘tithe’ his life and blood
to save us, or did he give it all?
Here is Keller’s conclusion:
“Tithing (10%) is a minimum standard for Christian believers. We certainly wouldn’t want to be in a position of giving away less of our income than those who had so much less of an understanding of what God did to save them.