As a Christian I have a responsibility in a matter of givingin the proper use of the material things I have. From the study of the scriptures I realize, as Paul wrote, "For the earth is the Lord's and the fullness thereof" (I Cor. 10:26). Therefore I have been entrusted with these things that belong to God and some day I will give an account of the use I am now making of them. Knowing that to keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point is to be guilty of all (Jas. 2:10), I want to be scriptural in my giving as well as in my repentance, baptism, worship, prayer yea in all my relationships with God and with men.
What is to determine the amount of my giving? Not my personal likes or dislikes of preachers, elders, brethren, sermons, etc.: not what others do or fail to do. I did not allow such to determine whether I would submit to baptism or not. I must not allow such to determine my conduct and the doing of my duty in any way. Without a doubt the "average" man is lost and just how well off is the "average" member of the church? The average may not give as much as 3% of his income to the Lord's work. Should I satisfy myself with this?
Should the need be the determining factor in my giving? Just what does one mean by this? Doing my part in meeting the needs of a small budget of the congregation where I am a member or doing my part with what means I have in carrying out the great commission? Budgets need to be larger; efforts need to be greater, more work needs to be done. Congregations can do a better work when each individual member of the body functions as he should.
From the study of God's word I am convinced that my giving should be determined not by likes and dislikes, not by what others do or don't, not by whether a small budget is being metbut joy' my ability to give. Just as I should sing, teach, preach and do whatever work I can do according to the ability I have. The more I have, the greater is my responsibility. "For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required . . ." (Luke 12:48).
Yes, I should give according to need my need to give and fulfill my duty. God has blessed me liberally and abundantly. I live in the most prosperous land and in the most prosperous times the world has ever known. I also live in a time when there is more ungodliness, sin, false teaching, error and more lost souls and thus when there is such a great need of truth being taught. I need to give liberally " . . . to abound in this grace . . ." and to prove the sincerity of my love (2 Cor. 8:1-8). From such passages as Gal. 6:10; Jas. 1:26, 27; 1 Tim. 5:4, 16, I realize that I have some individual responsibilities to meet. I believe that I can meet these individual responsibilities and still give scripturally, liberally to the Lord's work. God gives assurance to His faithful children. "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:" (2 Cor. 9:6-8). What a wonderful work would be done if all who call themselves New Testament Christians would believe this scripture.
Truth Magazine X: 8, p. 1 May 1966