Friday, January 29, 2010

Why I Give Online

One of the best kept secrets around jubilee for the past few months is that you can now give online (see the main page of either the City or Wentzville). For many, this is long-awaited and good news because everything else you do is online and perhaps the only reason you even write a check is to buy girl scout cookies and give to jubilee. OK, I will admit it, we were slow adapters on this one.

Now for some of you, you may not like the idea of giving online because for you, the moment you drop the check or the cash in the basket is the moment when when giving becomes worship for you. I have to say, that is a great moment. Especially, on Gift Day and the band is playing an update, God-centered's a great moment. However, to be clear and to guard from false thinking, the real moment of worship is when you (and your spouse if you are married) are sitting at the dinning room table with all your bills and account statements in front of you, and you first make the decision in faith to give a certain amount/percentage to God. It's God-honoring worship when it is pre-determined and is amount that represents sacrificial and generous giving. What is not worship, is last minute giving that is more of an after thought after you paid the rest of your bills. That, perhaps (emphasize perhaps) is giving done more out of compulsion rather than worship. Of course, spontaneous giving is great and is also God-honoring, but should not represent the bulk of our giving. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 8 & 9 that our giving should be off the top, regular and generous.

You can accomplish this kind of giving whether you give by check or whether you give electronically. Now my wife and I give online (auto debit from checking not recommend using your credit card) because it helps us stick to our predetermined amount and keeps it regular (it's automated) because to be honest with all that I do on Sunday morning, I can forget.

The point of this post (if you're beginning to wonder) is to say that whether you give by check or online is not the determining factor in whether you are worshipping God in your giving. The determining factor is 1) the first spending decision you make? 2) is it sacrificial and generous? and 3) Is it regular? After those questions are answer, quite frankly it is just a matter of preference.