What is sacrificial giving?
Giving is taking what you have and handing it over to another person or organization. When you give, you relinquish control of the property that you give out. Not all giving is sacrificial. You could give out what you don’t need anymore or things that are causing you some inconvenience. In this case, you are giving because it helps you declutter your home. This kind of giving is good but it is not sacrificial giving and as such it is not the focus of this article.
Sacrificial giving is the type of giving that involves a decision to let go of something that you could be using for the benefit of others. It is so called because you are choosing to forfeit the benefit of having the gift so that another person or organization can have that gift.
In my post on tithing, I covered that fact that everything we have belongs to God and that giving the first 10% as tithes to God is our way of showing gratitude to God. Tithing is sacrificial giving. You could always use 100% of your income. Choosing to let go of 10% is sacrificial. There are other types of sacrificial giving that I would like to highlight in this post. Every type of sacrificial giving is a principle for increasing your capacity to give.
Types of Sacrificial Giving
- Tithes (already discussed in Christian Financial Management)
- Giving at church above your tithes
- Alms (poor, widows, orphans etc)
- First Fruit offering
- Donations for special projects
- Donations towards a cause
- Giving to parents
- Giving to Spiritual leaders
Please take note that all sacrificial offerings are to be taken from the 70% of your income left after you have taken out 10% for Tithes, 10% for savings and 10% for personal development except in very extraordinary situations that we may consider at a later time.
Giving at church above your tithes
Any money or gift you give at church above your tithes is referred to as an offering. A free will offering is like a seed sown. It comes back to you in multiple folds. Take a look at the following scriptures to help in understanding this.
Deuteronomy 16:16-17 (ESV)
16 “Three times a year all your males shall appear before the Lord your God at the place that he will choose: at the Feast of Unleavened Bread, at the Feast of Weeks, and at the Feast of Booths. They shall not appear before the Lord empty-handed. 17 Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God that he has given you.
From the above scripture you can conclude that it is a good idea to bring an offering every time you attend a church service. The offerings helps to keep such meeting going. There are lots of bills that need to be paid to keep the church door open. If any church (body of believers) want to continue to enjoy the comfort of their building and all the services available to the members then I encourage you to bring an offering every time you go for a meeting.
Always have a desire to give!
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 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. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. – 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (NIV)
If you do not have so much to give, then simply enjoy the worship service and believe that God will provide for you next time. The essence of this scripture is not to put the people under a bondage or under pressure. It is to teach us to show our gratitude to God and support the upkeep of the “house” of God. Since you do not have something to bring, you can come with thankful heart and give yourself afresh to GOD. Never miss a meeting simply because you don’t have cash on you.
In the scripture above you may have noticed that number of times the people appeared before God was 3 times a year. This is not all the time each individual appeared before God. It is the number of time ALL the males appeared before God. Whenever you use the church building, equipment, children facility etc, make it a principle to give. It moves the work of the kingdom forward and opens you up to receive. The motive for giving is to bless the work of God. The blessing is simply a result of God’s law of sowing and reaping.
Giving Sacrificially to the less privileged – Alms
6 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased. ~ Hebrew 13:16 (NKJV)
42 Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. ~ Matthew 5:42 (NKJV)
28 Let him who stole steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need ~ Ephesians 4:28
God is love! Love always gives. If we say we love someone, then we would also want what’s best for them. If it is in our power to make life a little easier and move them along on their path to being a blessing, we must do it.
I believe that most people have what it takes to bring value to the market place and get paid for it. However from time to time, we all need a boost. Giving to the poor or needy is simply giving them a boost. My prayer is that no one should stay poor and needy. Maybe the best thing to give to the poor and needy is hope, support and a way to earn a living.
How giving sacrificially to the poor will change your life
When you give to the poor, the joy that you bring to their lives, has a way of motivating you to do more. It also helps to create more joy and hope on the earth. The person you helped may get out of the problem they were in and they will help another person.
I encourage you to always look out for an opportunity to help. No matter how little your resources are, there is someone who has even less.
Giving Sacrificially – First Fruit Offerings
9 Honor the Lord with your wealth
and with the best part of everything you produce.
10 Then he will fill your barns with grain,
and your vats will overflow with good wine. ~ Proverbs 3:9-10
When the children of Israel, got into the promised land, they were instructed by God to take some of the first fruits of their harvest to the Priest as a show of gratitude to God. As a result, believers are encouraged to take the best part of whatever they produce to the “house of God” for thanksgiving.
Christian are under no obligation in the new testament to bring in a first-fruit offering. However, I find that the blessing attached to bringing the first part of your products to God is eternal in nature.
Whenever I start a new business, I take a portion of the first sale and give it as first fruit offering. The first fruit offering is different from the tithe. For you to tithe, there must be a profit. You give a tithe of the profit. The first fruit is simply taking a portion of the first sale and using it for thanksgiving.
If you are earning salaries, then taking a portion of your first salary (above your tithes) to honor the Lord for the job is excellent. Some people offer their entire first pay. This is equally good as long as it is not done out of fear or pressure. All sacrificial giving must be done willingly and cheerfully.
How honouring God with your wealth will change your life
There is a promise attached to honouring God with your wealth! MORE WEALTH! When you remember that everything you have and are belongs to God, then it becomes clear that if you honour the Lord with everything you have, including your wealth, God will make it possible for you to have more. I believe that favour is attached to honouring God. Whenever you honour God by declaring to everyone around you that God is your source, God in turn honours you by making it possible for you to do more.
Giving Sacrificially towards church projects and worthy causes!
Special projects at church or special causes that we may encounter are opportunities to honour God with our wealth. For example when there is a building project at church or a group of people need help to overcome a challenge. It is always a blessing to be part of such projects. Like every type of sacrificial giving, it will cost you but it will also bring joy to you.
Giving Sacrificially to Parent and Spiritual leaders
6 Those who are taught the word of God should provide for their teachers, sharing all good things with them. ~ Galatians 6:6 NLT
The Bible encourages every believer to learn how to give good gifts to their spiritual leaders. Anyone who takes the time to teach you spiritually is being used by God to bless you. It is important to take the time to appreciate what God is doing in you through that person by sharing what you have with them.
Parents make lots of sacrifices for us. It is a good habit to plan to send them a gift or two from time to time. Nothing is too small to give to your parents. You can also give them your time by helping them run errands. Whatever you can do to bless them is good.
My experience of sacrificial giving
As I conclude this post, I would like to share my person experience about sacrificial giving as well as unexplainable receiving.
In the first few years of full time ministry, we had very little income and lots of bills. The money that came in was much less than the money that we needed to spend. We had to trust God to provide the balance from time to time.
I remember praying one day to God and asking why things were so difficult. I said something like, why would someone not send us money regularly to meet our needs? Why am I not getting a steady flow of income?
God at that point dropped a thought in my life that totally changed our finances. “How many people are you giving to regularly?” That is what God dropped in my heart. Immediately I saw that when I am not giving regularly, I have stopped the flow of giving and receiving.
As a result of this insight, I realized that giving to others was a blessing to them and to me as well. I could actually plan to give. Look for opportunities to give and trust God to receive from Him. So we started to sow regularly into a pastor’s life. I gave more consciously, realizing that whenever I get that nudge to give, it will be the answer to someone’s prayers.
It’s been many years now and I can testify that we have received way more than we have given. Not only are we satisfied and overwhelmed with the reaction from those that we have been opportuned to give to, we have actually received so much more that we can ever imagine.
What next? Oh Lord! Please Enlarge my capacity to give.
Take a look at your budget. See how much you can give. Ask God to show you where there is a need. Then gladly meet that need. As you give to meet that need, ask God to enlarge your capacity to give!
When your capacity to give is enlarged, it means you have more resources in your hand to manage. God never asks us to give what we don’t have. You give from the abundance that God has given you. You give because you are able to. You give because you are glad that you are not the one in need of the help you are rendering. You give because you know that the resources in your care was designed by God to meet those needs.
How to give with a tight budget
When your budget is tight and your income can hardly meet your needs, you should still give. First you give your tithe 10%. You can adjust your savings to 5% and personal development to 5%. Then you ask God to show you someone that you can give to.
When you find someone in need, give to them. You may need to skip a meal, you may need to keep using that old shoe for an extra month. You may even need to give the Lardlord a little less than you planned to as part of the payment. Whatever it takes, make sure that you give something to someone above your tithes.
How do you know who to give to and when?
When it comes to sacrificial giving, you must let the Holy spirit lead you. I suggest that you plan on following the scriptures as presented above. Prepare to give offerings when you attend meetings. Look for opportunities to help someone who does not have as much as you. Give to your leaders. Support godly projects. In every situation, let the Holy Spirit guide you.