I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. — C.S. Lewis.
There is a precedent in the Bible for giving recklessly. It’s about giving and living with a sense of abandon. Go overboard. Give until it hurts. Give beyond what we can account for. Adventurous giving gets us out beyond where faith has to play a role. It’s just not all calculated. It shouldn’t all make sense.
I’m not suggesting we foolishly write checks we can’t cover; I’m suggesting we stretch a little beyond what we can easily control. I think this, after all, is where the hilarity comes into giving. We’re out into an area of faith where we have to trust God. We’re a little light-headed. It can be exhilarating, like a wild ride at Disneyland. I actually think this is where we should live all the time. Faith must take us beyond ourselves, or it isn’t faith.
I think we all know what to is to make a compulsive buy. Something you’ve been waiting to purchase just went on sale; you’ve been looking for that particular color and there it is; you want to surprise your husband or your wife and you don’t know when you’ll find this opportunity again, so you go for it and you figure it out later. You make adjustments in your budget for what you really want to do in your heart. Giving recklessly is a little like this. It’s generosity rising to the occasion. Money should serve us, not the other way around.
A perfect example of what I’m talking about just came across my desk. A little over a week ago I had sent out an email to a few of our regular supporters requesting a one-time gift because of a loss we took earlier to the Catch budget. I received from one of them the following reply, “We really aren’t in a position right now to do more than we are doing monthly. If anything changes I’ll let you know.” That was dated October 15, three days ago. Then today, literally just a minute ago while I’m writing this Catch, I receive, from the same person, word of a generous gift that just arrived. Now what happened here? Maybe something changed, like he said, or maybe his outlook changed, and he was suddenly willing to take a risk.
Either the situation changes, or we change. When the situation changes, it’s because the numbers work, and giving is easy. When we change, we give anyway, from the heart, because we are trusting God for our needs, too.
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:7-8)