Wednesday, August 22, 2007

"Giving Our Way to Prosperity" (Lesson Seven)

When most Bible class students get to the seventh lesson, they are probably tired of hearing about giving. Then, they read the title of this lesson: "Give Till It Hurts." While the study of stewardship takes a great level of maturity, thinking of giving in these terms will truly test a person's commitment to the act of giving.

However, when the student begins to study the lesson, he or she is met with this seemingly paradoxical purpose: "To impress upon the mind that there is a joy in giving, and that there is no pain connected with true giving" (39). Why does that seem to be a paradox? Because the lesson title leads us to think that giving "hurts," but the purpose statement tells us that it does not hurt. How can that be?

The four sections of the lesson lead us to a greater understanding of the attitude of our giving. The lesson is divided into these four sections:
  • Our Giving Should be Consistent (40-41)
  • Giving Must come from Sincere Heart (41-42)
  • One Should Give with a Happy Heart (42-43)
  • Our Giving Is To Be Generous (43)

If one follows the logical progression of these four sections, he/she comes to the conclusion that giving from the right heart (or, with the right attitude) does not really "hurt." While our giving may be a large portion of our budget, when we have the correct attitude, we don't have pain when writing that check. We know our money is going to the right place and for the correct purpose.

This lesson may seem quite simplistic, but it helps students better understand how giving more money doesn't really "hurt" when we have the right attitude. Many Christians need to be reminded of that teaching.