I’m old enough to remember the Great Depression of the 1930s. For several years our family had no car, no plumbing, no electricity. But we had a house, a spring nearby, an outhouse, wood for fuel, adequate clothing, and enough food. Were we poor? Not by standards back then. We would be today, however, if we lived in that same area.
How much money does a person need to be considered rich? And how much money does a person have to give away to be considered generous? It’s hard to say, isn’t it? In fact, it may be impossible to give a specific answer to those two questions.
The apostle Paul did not set a percentage as a rule for giving, nor did he say that only the rich should give. Instead, he challenged the Corinthian Christians by telling them about the Macedonian believers who gave out of their “deep poverty” and “beyond their ability” because they “first gave themselves to the Lord” (2 Cor. 8:2-5). He reminded his readers of their Savior, the Lord Jesus, who exchanged the riches of heaven for poverty on earth so that they might be rich for all eternity.
Whether we consider ourselves rich or poor, our love for the Lord should provide us with all the reason we need to be generous in our giving.
Incline our hearts toward giving
That we may thus express
To Thee, the great provider,
Our love and thankfulness. —Fennema
Christ is our reason for living—and for giving.