How Much Should I Give?

Hey, thanks again for sending in your questions related to our recent sermons.

This last week we talked a lot about giving and our motives behind giving.

We need to give just to give and we need to give out of the abundance that we already

share with God, not in order to be praised or to get attention.

Give just to give, to give like Jesus gives and we’re able to do that because we have

what Jesus has in relationship with the Father.

So the question this week, very practical, how do I decide how much to give?

That’s a great question, we all have to sort that out.

Jesus does assume in that passage that we will give.

He says when you give, do it like this, not like this.

He doesn’t say if you give, he doesn’t say if you happen to give, if you’re kind of thinking

about giving, he says when you give.

So it is implied that we will give, it is assumed that we will give.

In the Old Testament, the laws were to be giving 10% but a lot of people noticed it

was actually more than that if you include, you know, they were required not to harvest

all the way to the edge of their fields, they were required to also give to all these festivals

and it really could have been more like 20% that they were giving in the Old Testament.

Of course part of that was kind of their social safety net of their society, that those without

means could come and harvest on the edge of the fields, be able to provide for themselves.

So if we’re using the Old Testament as a model, it could be north of 10%.

The New Testament, there’s not a specific percentage that is given, but it says we should

be giving with a joyful heart.

So I would say this, maybe the starting place is 10% as a goal, but I know a lot of us are

in a lot of financial positions where that’s just not going to be immediately possible

and so I would say if you’re not at 10%, try to work your way there.

Can you start at 1%, can you start at half a percent and just develop the habit and get

going that way.

The key thing in how much should I give is again our attitude in giving should really

be how much can I give, not how much do I have to give.

We should always be wanting to increase in generosity and so we should really look into

our heart.

If at any point we’re like, no, I need more for myself, then we really have to watch that,

pray about that, fight against that.

You watch like the Christmas Carol, right?

I mean, do we want to be Scrooge at the beginning or do we want to be Scrooge at the end?

We see the difference there.

Those are the extremes, obviously.

I wouldn’t call anybody Scrooge if they’re only giving a little bit or something, of


But the impulse in our heart, that’s what we’re talking about.

Do we want to have a heart?

Regardless of our actions, we might be very generous on the outside, but on the inside

our heart could be, I need more, I need more, I don’t really want to give.

It’s kind of this begrudging thing, which is like Scrooge at the beginning of the movie,

even if we are giving externally.

Or do we want to just be so free and flowing and giving and I want to give more, I want

to give more, I want to give more.

Our attitude shouldn’t, should be, how much can I give away instead of I need more, I

need more, I need more.

Anytime our hearts are saying I need more, my very practical advice to you that somebody

gave to me at one point that I found very helpful is in order to kind of break that

I need more, I need more, I need more, is to give more than you think that you can handle

to give away.

And by really stretching yourself and giving yourself, putting yourself out there that

you give more than you really think you can handle, something inside of us kind of breaks

and realizes, oh, my money isn’t for me, my resources aren’t for me, they’re for other

people and it really is better to give than to receive, as Jesus is quoted saying.

So again, the impulse that we really want to pay attention to is what is in our hearts

and if it is I need more, we need to break that.

If it’s I want to give more, then that’s really good.

And then let’s give more.

I know people who make a tremendous amount of money and what they’re going for is they

want to do a reverse tithe.

They want to be giving away 90% and keeping 10%.

I know not all of us will be able to get to that point, but what a great goal, what a

great attitude in our hearts.

Regardless of if we could give that much, that should still be the attitude that’s in

our hearts, right?

So I’m not concerned about the actual number or the actual percentage that is going out,

but I am very concerned about what’s in our hearts.

If it’s I need more, then we need to work on that.

If our heart is I want to give more, I’m excited about giving more, then we’re in a good place.

So I might not have specifically answered that question yet, but I would say start with

or aim for 10% to start with.

And as you do that, you might uncover what’s in your heart and you might need to break


And then hopefully you can go beyond 10% sometime in the future and give more and more and more.

Beth and I really enjoy.

We give to our local church.

We give to a number of missionaries.

We give to some institutions that we think are doing a great job getting the gospel out

to the world.

And it really is a joy.

We want to be giving even more than we can.

I mean, even more than we are.

We want to have more and more resources so we can give more and more and more.

And you can pray for me that that would be even more evident in my heart, and I’ll pray

for you that that would be more evident in your heart.

Thanks for the question and we will see you next time.