Q. I always give whatever the Holy Spirit requests which is rarely more than 5%. The problem is with job and money cuts, increased expenses, etc. if we truly gave 10% we would miss bills every month. So what do I do? Pay my bills and continue to obey what the H.S. says or do I risk my lights being off or not being able to afford the doctor bills? This is a hard time and I am trying to be responsible and a cheerful giver.
A. I appreciate the position you’re in but I don’t think it’s the Holy Spirit counseling you because the advice you’re getting contradicts what the Bible says. The proof of this lies in the fact that you’re not prospering.
The Bible says the Lord will bless you according to your giving (Luke 6:38). Those who sow sparingly will also reap sparingly, but those who sow generously will also reap generously (2 Cor. 9:6). It says generous giving will increase your ability to be even more generous (2 Cor. 9:11). Therefore if you have to limit your giving in order to pay your bills, something is wrong. Check yourself in these areas to find out what it is.
Are you giving solely out of your gratitude for what the Lord has given you? Or is it because you feel an obligation to give something. Gratitude is the only acceptable motive for giving.
Do you truly have a desire to give more to others, and do you believe the Lord will bless you for doing so? If you just want more for yourself, then the Lord won’t bless your giving no matter how much it is.
Is it really a case of choosing between expressing your gratitude to the Lord and paying the electric bill? If so then maybe your finances are out of balance. Since everyone has an electric bill, maybe the real problem is the credit card bill, or other consumer debts.
Answering these questions can help identify the problem. And remember, generous giving with the proper motive does not cause financial problems, it’s the solution to financial problems. God’s promises are real, and if we’re not experiencing them, the problem is always with us.