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Financial giving and deception (Part II) | Back to articles | Articles sitemap |

In part 1 of “Financial Giving & Deception” we looked at the principles of financial giving from a Christian perspective. To begin with let’s quickly recap on part one:

Why do we have to give?

-We are instructed to do so in scripture. (Some examples: Leviticus 27:30, Matthew 23:23, (1 Corinthians 16:2)) *note: remember we do not give because we are under the law any longer, but rather because of love. Tithing and giving were both introduced before the law.
-As Christians we have been bought with a price: “For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God's.” (1 Corinthians 6:20) Therefore our possessions and money are not our own to begin with, but Gods.

When do we give?

-As others are in need and we are able. (See Matthew 5:42, Matthew 19:19)
-As the Holy Spirit directs us to.
-As we receive. The Lord should receive the first fruits of our income (tithing) (See Deuteronomy 26:2)

Who do we give to?

-The poor -The Church -Fellow Christians -Christian leader’s -Non-believers

How are we to give?

-As Christians we should live our lives open-handedly. We must acknowledge that we are merely stewards of God's possessions. We should therefore always be willing to give anything which we “keep” at any time required by the Lord (See Matthew 19:21). In fact, we should even be willing to offer our very "...bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God...." (Romans 12:1)
-We are to give with a glad and cheerful heart, not giving just to receive, but out of love.

In summary, Christians should not only focus on the Old Testament laws of tithing and giving. Instead, they should give according to the following New Testament guidelines. Giving according to these guidelines will many times exceed that of the Old Testament ten percent law. Christian giving should be:
• Proportional to one's income (1 Corinthians 16:2, 2 Corinthians 8:12)
• Consistent (1 Corinthians 16:2)
• Sacrificial (Mark 12:43-44, 2 Corinthians 8:2-3)
• Cheerful (2 Corinthians 9:7)

Financial giving is an area in which Satan has learned to craftily misguide many people. He has learned to manipulate and deceive believers so well, that Christians will for many years discontinue operating in the laws and guidelines of financial giving that God has set in place. Some Christians will completely stop giving all together without even realizing it. Sadly there are even some Christians who will stop giving while completely understanding what’s taking place.

Satan is very aware of the power of God and His Word. He knows that God’s Word will accomplish what it says. Isaiah 55:11 says: “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Satan has had first hand experience of God’s Word triumphing over him time and time and time again. He knows God’s Word doesn’t return void. In other words, the only way Satan can keep you from the abundant blessings of God is by keeping you deceived and disobedient to God’s Word. This is because God’s Word cannot fail! The devil knows that once you use and act upon God’s Word he cannot win. That is why it is his first business to get anything from God out of our life.

If Satan cannot eliminate the Word from your life completely, for him the next best thing is a trap of deception. Many times Satan will present temptation accompanied by deception in our lives and then try to “work around” or compromise the Word. Satan will never present God’s Word in its full truth. Rather Satan tries to take the truth of the Word and mix it with lies subtle enough to deceive and tempt you into believing that this “new” creation of subtle lies and truths is equal to that of the original truth presented in God’s Word.

To better illustrate this point, I’ll tell you about a boy named Sam. Sam knows the Bible says we are not to become drunk. Every New Year’s Eve however, he’d think to himself “but it’s New Years Eve, it’s meant to be a celebration! God’s not going to send me to hell for getting drunk one single time. I can repent the next day, God will forgive me, I know He’s a loving God, and then everything will be fine.” This is just a trap of deception used by Satan to pull Sam into sin and separate him from God. Here Sam takes the bate by following Satan’s deceptive “suggestion.” In actuality, God’s Word says "stay away from drunkenness” (See 1Corinthians:6:10), not “don’t become drunk, with the exception of New Year’s Eve.”

So now let’s apply what we know about Satan’s deceptive tactics to examine deception in financial giving. First let’s look at the law of sowing and reaping: “He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.” (2 Corinthians 9:6) The devil does not want you to understand this! God is saying “If you give a lot, you will get a lot. If you give bountifully, even greater will I bless and continue to give to you!” Satan doesn’t want you to give anything because he knows giving from the heart will set the spiritual law of blessings into motion. Satan is desperate to get a foothold in our lives and deceiving us through temptations: laziness, greed, anger, false teachings, lust, fear, etc. is his best chance of doing it.

Deception 1: Exchanging Time and Talents for Finances.

One trap that many believers fall into is the idea that they can exchange their time and talents for finances. Some allow themselves to become deceived into believing that because they spend so much time in the Word, continually witness to others, and use their talents to glorify God they are not obligated to tithe and give. They believe their time and talents are equal to that of finances. Here the devil is simply stopping the source of the seed. A seed is a beginning point of growth. A “seed” needs to be planted in order for you to have a “harvest”. Since we literally reap what we sow ("Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap” (Galatians 6:7)) we cannot reap anything if we haven’t sown anything.

Deception 2: A Part of the Church Staff:

Being a member of your church staff does not exclude you from financial giving. Being a member of your church staff does not wave your duty to give. If anything being apart of church staff puts you under more obligations. Many however, because they are doing a service to the Lord, believe they deserve some sort of “discount” when it comes to giving. This is simply not so, church staff must tithe and give just like everyone else, even the pastor!

Deception 3: I don’t have enough to give:

Money problems are something almost all of us can relate too. Many times when finances are tight Christians will skip a tithe here and there so that money can be used in other areas. Have you ever had the thought “I will give so much more when I’m out of debt.”? Or maybe “I will give more in the future when I have more money.” Remember Satan is the king of excuses and lies. What’s happening here is a harvest of money is being expected when a seed isn’t being planted. Just like the first deception, Satan tries to keep the source of the harvest: the seed, gift, or tithe, from ever leaving your wallet. This way he can keep you on a never ending merry-go-round of financial failure. You will continue expecting to tithe more money when you receive more, however you will never receive more because you have never sown anything to reap.

We must avoid these deceptions of Satan because 1.) It will stop us from prospering 2.) Falling into deception leads to sin and 3.) By following a path of deception we are actually sowing destruction. When we continually sow destruction into our lives, we will reap destruction time and time again.

Always stay ten steps ahead of Satan; you can do this by learning and renewing your mind to the things in the Bible. Learn and understand what God demands from us as redeemed Born-Again Believers. Discover for yourself what God requires from us financially. Remember the law of sowing and reaping. Become a generous cheerful giver filled with love, understanding, and compassion. Take a faith stand and expect God to fulfill His promises. “…God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work… …Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion…” (2 Corinthians 9:7-11 -NIV)

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