Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. (1 Tim. 6:17-18)

Monday, March 9, 2009

Give anyway, even without the tax deduction

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. - Matt. 6:33

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. - 2 Cor. 9:7

In recent days, there have been a few news stories come out of the Obama White House regarding possible changes in our tax code deductions when it comes to charitable donations. This has sent the non-profit/charitable donation world reeling since they have already been hit hard during our current economic struggles. It has been predicted that if a change in the tax law such as this does occur that charitable donations will decrease in a dramatic way.

Why shouldn't they decrease? Our politicians have taught the American people to give primarily to receive a small deduction in their taxes. The government has been in the business of rewarding "good" behavior and punishing "bad" behavior. Now, they are in the process of attempting to collect whatever missing revenue they can possibly get their hands on.

As born-again believers in Jesus Christ, our motives in giving should not be wrapped around a tax deduction. We should give because:
  1. God has commanded that we give.
  2. We love Him.
  3. He gave everything for us - His one and only Son!
  4. We are investing in the Kingdom of God. God's "stock market" only goes up, never down!
  5. We can "take it with us." This temporal world is but a vapor, a fleeting period of time. We need to "send it on ahead" to our eternal home in Heaven.
  6. We demonstrate excellent stewardship or management of God's resources by giving a portion of it back to Him.
  7. We desire our character to be molded into the character of Jesus Christ himself - the ultimate giver!
  8. Giving to our churches is God's vehicle to provide for our church's pastors, ministries, and missionaries.
No matter what our politicians in Washington decide to do regarding charitable giving and the tax code, I am resolved to continue to be a cheerful giver!

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