Motivated to Give—Seven Reasons I Tithe Through My Church
Earlier this year, Kings Valley put together a video series entitled “Why We Give.” Each video featured a person or family from Kings Valley sharing what motivated them to give to God through tithes and offerings. As I reflected on this, I realized my motivation for giving cannot be narrowed down to just one thing. Indeed, I identified seven primary factors:
1. I give out of love.
I regularly give gifts to my wife and children, whether it’s a holiday or not. Why? Because giving is an expression of love. Likewise, I give to express my love toward God (i.e. worship).
2 Samuel 24 records a time when King David prepared an altar to offer a sacrifice of worship to God in the threshing floor of a man named Araunah. When Araunah offered to give David the location and everything needed for the sacrifice, David told him, “No, I insist on paying you for it. I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing” (2 Samuel 24:24, NIV).
2. I give in obedience.
Giving a tithe—one-tenth of what I earn—is an Old Testament command (Malachi 3:10a) reaffirmed in the New Testament by Jesus (see Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42). However, my obedience flows not from obligation but from my relationship with Jesus. When anyone I care for deeply asks something of me, I take the request seriously. Plus, my giving honours Him and expresses my sincere gratitude to Him. After all, Jesus gave His all for me; how can I not give to Him in return?
3. I give because I trust God.
My security is not based on the size of my bank account. A pile of “stuff” is not going to provide what I need in life. Rather, my security is based in Jesus. He always provides everything I need at the very time I need it. As the Apostle Paul explains, “And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19, NIV). As I trust Him and adhere to Biblical instructions for managing finances, I can be confident He will always come through for me.
4. I give to support ministry.
I believe in the mission of my church, so I willingly—even eagerly—give so that resources are available for our ministries. Without the faithful giving of those who call our church home, we would need to lay off staff, shut down programs, and close our doors. (Most churches are always only a few bad offerings away from that becoming a reality.) Rather than allowing finances to limit our capacity, I give so our church can be equipped to minister effectively.
5. I give to receive.
Candidly, this feels like a selfish motivation. God Himself endorses it, however, and promotes giving as a catalyst for experiencing the blessings of God. “‘Test me in this,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it’” (Malachi 3:10b, NIV). This is the only place in the Bible God challenges us to test Him, so see if He will be true to His Word. As you will discover, He is always faithful to His promises.
6. I give to establish the Lordship of Christ in my life.
Where I direct my resources says a lot about what I value. Whenever I invest money, the recipient gains that much more power over my life. As Jesus put it, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21, NIV). Because I have made the decision to live for Jesus, I will use my finances to reinforce that decision.
7. I give to become more like Jesus.
Jesus Himself is generous. In fact, He gave His all for you and for me. Even as He walked among us, He never refrained from acting generously. The way I see it, then, I become more like Jesus every time I act out of generosity.
How are you motivated to give? What does your level of generosity say about you? In what way is the generosity of Christ being formed in you?