From Pastor Jason: The Three-Lane Highway of Giving
Generally speaking, I think of giving like a highway. And this particular road has three lanes. Most of the time Christians gravitate toward a particular lane. Similar to our driving style there is a context, approach, and speed at which we are most comfortable. However it’s not that simple. Think more about your driving habits. At different moments, on different trips and depending on where you are going you probably use different lanes. And every lane demands different behavior. Nobody likes that guy who uses the diamond lane with exit lane tendencies (Bless his heart). Similarly every lane of worshipful giving ought to be in the Christian’s generosity repertoire … at different points … at varying speeds … for different reasons … yet nevertheless always accessible. Here are three ways in which we should consistently give our money to Jesus and his mission.
Lane #1: When the Mood Strikes. Sometimes the desire to give just hits us. Perhaps God puts a person on your heart and mind, or you have a vision to see a safe event for the kids in your neighborhood, or you’ve just got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in your heart. Whatever the reason, sometimes we just want to give. And we should. But our generosity should never be limited by our desire to give. Lane #2: When the Needs Arise. Other folks have a tendency to give only when a need arises. Maybe a missionary communicates a need for more support through a newsletter, or a school kid knocks on your door and tells you that ten more chocolate bars mean five more textbooks that will change her life, or your church hands you a graph on a Sunday morning. Whatever the reason, sometimes a need arises and we give. And we should. But our generosity should never be limited by our awareness of needs. Lane #3: In Our Budgets. Another approach to generosity is budgeting. This habit is birthed from the scriptural concept of tithing—setting aside 10% of your income on a regularly basis. By the way, a budget is an estimation of income and expense for a set period of time (I’m only thirty, I had to look up the definition). This is a disciplined approach that honors God by planning regular gifts, usually of the same amount and generally on a weekly or monthly basis. Whatever the amount or frequency, sometimes we build our generosity into our budgets. And we should. But our generosity should never be limited by our plans.
In summary, generosity should never be limited by our desire to give, our awareness of needs, nor by the plans we have made. The only limit to our worship through giving our money to Jesus and his mission ought to be the example Jesus has set before us. Interestingly, that road is narrow, few find it, and it has a small gate. May we honor Jesus with everything we’ve got.