Greed dominates the world as we know it, with money being the cause of so much injustice. Often, we can feel helpless when it comes to tackling injustice. But Jesus makes it clear that as Christians, we can stand against injustice by being actively generous with our money.
Discussions about money can often feel awkward. Let’s reframe it as discussing how we can use the gifts God gives us, as how we use our money is important to God. Jesus frequently warns against loving money, an act as present in the culture we live in now as it was in Jesus’ time. He warns that ‘it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter heaven’ (Mark 10:25). Therefore, generosity cannot be merely an optional extra.
What does the Bible say?
The book of Acts gives the example of the early church as a blueprint for our lives. Within the early church, we see radical generosity, which meant that ‘there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need’ (Acts 4:34-35). This demonstrates a generous community giving their all to serve God and people in poverty.
Jesus tells us in Matthew 25 that ‘whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers, you did for me’. Whenever we use our money for God’s kingdom, we contribute to what He’s already doing. Now, that might sound daunting, but God is with us every step of the way.
Here are some tips that I’d recommend to help you decide where and how to use your money. Partnering with God and seeing how he will use us and our money is exciting!
Before I donate to charity, I consider these questions:
1. Is this what God wants?
I always begin making decisions like this by asking what God is already doing and where He wants my money to go. Sometimes God will make it clear what he wants me to do, but other times he leaves it up to me.
2. How will my money be used?
Will my money be used to uplift and upskill communities or make them dependent on outsider support? Are the people the money is supporting valued as Jesus would?
3. Can I give regularly?
Giving regularly to charities is helpful as it allows them to plan their future spending and future projects. If you’re able to, giving regularly really is the most beneficial way to donate. I hope that this has been useful in showing you why it is important to give generously, and I challenge you to take some time, meet with God and see how He wants you to use your money.
If you want to find out where your money goes when you give to Tearfund, check out this page here!