Make no mistake about it. Giving is not optional for the Christian.
2 Corinthians 9:7 says, “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion.” Some of your translations will say “should do”. The italicized letters indicates an addition by the English translation. But the implication is clear; giving is not left to preference. The money you have purposefully set aside to give is now designated for giving. It is to be used for nothing else.
My former pastor shocked the congregation one Sunday as he stood before us and announced that someone had been stealing from the church. After investigation he learned that it was not the staff or any of the deacons. The pastor announced that the service would go no further until whomever it was that had been stealing came forward and publicly repented. After a few moments of silence, the pastor added one more detail. The stealing wasn’t from the money that had already been given. The stealing happened by those who never gave it in the first place.
Needless to say, that really got our attention.
It is the responsibility for every Christian to support the work of the ministry. This leads to a profound application. If you miss a week, give what you would have given the next week. Do not think that you somehow ended up with an extra $50 to take your family out to eat if you didn’t make it to church one Sunday. That money was designated to the work of the ministry and it needs to be given as soon as possible. Giving is not optional for the Christian.
Christian, if you don’t give then your church cannot do. Giving is the God-ordained way for churches to gain resources and have its needs met (2 Corinthians 9:12). Churches do not function as a business. It is totally dependent upon God working through His people. If you do not give, then you are hindering the work of ministry at your church.
Think about it. How else do you think that your church was able to do that mission project? How else do you have running water in the church restrooms? How else do you have a pastor that visits homes, hospitals and funerals through the week unless the church funds him and allows him to do so? How do you think that the bulletins appear every week? It all takes resources and God has chosen to provide those resources through His people.
Giving is not optional. It is a high privilege for every Christian. Count it as a joy when your purposefully and regularly give.