The Only Safe Rule For Giving


In his commentary on Luke,? R. Kent Hughes quotes C.S. Lewis in reference to the widow’s sacrificial gift of 2 copper coins, which was all she had to live on (LK 21).? Unfortunately, I read the quote before I realized how convicting it would be.? By then it was too late to escape.? But you still have time to turn back…

?I do not believe one can settle on how much we ought to give.? I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.? In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc., is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little.? If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small.? There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them.? ? C.S. Lewis

Great quote, huh?? Convicted?? I tried to warn you.

When we read this quote we should be able to think of things we’ve denied ourselves because of our giving.? If we can’t think of a single purchase or pleasure we’ve forgone for the sake of the church or the poor, the Lord wants to convict and inspire us.

I know I’ve never given as sacrificially as I should.? That’s why I’m grateful for Jesus’ blood and obedience.? His blood to cover my sins, and his obedience to count as my obedience before the Father.? Jesus’ all-out sacrifice is mine.? His total self-emptying counts for me as if I had poured out all I had.? I’ve failed to sacrifice as I should, but Jesus’ sacrifice is totally sufficient for me and all his children combined.

Not only do I need mercy for my giving failures, I need grace to change.? I need the power of the Holy Spirit to make me willing to give more than I can spare, to change my heart so I give till it pinches.? To make me content to deny myself things I’d like to do or have for the sake of the kingdom.? I’m glad he gives this grace.

Come Holy Spirit, and make us like Jesus!

If you’d like a great charity to give to, consider Covenant Mercies.

photo by emmyboop

Mark Altrogge

I’m a pastor at Saving Grace Church in Indiana, PA. I’m married to Kristi, have 5 kids, and a growing number of grandkids. I enjoy songwriting, oil painting and coffee, not necessarily in that order.