“Please and please usher, this is not a joke!” shouted Mr Okafor as he made a scene in the church service. I have changed my mind and chosen to not give God the offering again, so return it to me..
“But sir, how do I know which one is yours out of all these envelopes?” The usher asked.
“I don’t know for you o, that’s your business, all I know is that my offering today was 500 naira, so locate it for me.
Tell me, why should I be giving an offering for what I am not sure you are using the money for? If God is so great, what is he using my money to do? Please o, I made a mistake. I am hungry and I need to eat after the service”
You will agree with me that Mr Okafor’s situation seems to be very rare and unpleasant. Why would you go all the way to go to church, give an offering and then ask for it to be returned? Strange right? Yeah, it looks so. But let’s examine it intricately.
Truth be told, many people feel robbed after they give an offering. Many others struggle with dipping their hands into their bags or pockets once it’s offering time. For others, once the note is of a higher denomination, no money deserves to be given to God on that day. So really, Mr Okafor’s position may just be an outward expression of how many of us feel when it’s time to give to God.
For some, it’s the question of whether the offering that is being given is really going to God or directly into the Pastor’s pocket. Who knows if the money is what the Pastor is going to buy his next Bentley or Private jet? These are the thoughts that people have to battle with, in church.
The one that gets people off their seats to give the most, is the fear of not being among. When it seems everyone is giving and one is not, then there is something wrong. People then pledge to give what they don’t have or even dip their hands where they shouldn’t because they feel compelled to give.
In churches where a public show is made of giving, anyone can forcefully be pushed to give, or else they’ll face disgrace or maybe God won’t bless them.
Regardless of whatever category you are in, I want you to know that you can also like Mr Okafor, feel like you wish you can have your money back, or even better, not even have give anything at all, since you don’t feel that giving to God matters that much. Though you and I are nothing without God, our mental faculties can only battle because we are alive to do so.
I believe that this is an important area we really need to talk about because many churches shy away from talking about your motives for giving and the state of your heart as you do so too. Which to God, is what matters the most while you give. It’s not how much or how little you give but the state of your heart while you give to God.
When was the last time you were literally happy, smiling or giggling while you gave an offering? Like totally being so overwhelmed by God’s goodness towards you, through the good and bad times and dying for you even while you were a sinner? Maybe not frequently I guess.
That’s understandable, we all try to put on a strong face while we give an offering so that everyone around feels that we just placed one huge amount of money in the envelope. This tactic is well known since we all do it, don’t worry!😂
I believe that if we take the Bible scriptures the exact way they are, not adding or subtracting, or trying to interpret it in a way that it doesn’t say, it would do us a lot of good. You should try reading your Bible this way, it’s most helpful.
Take a look at this:
“Remember this — a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop.
You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”
And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (NLT)
This scripture is one of the most important ones regarding giving in my opinion. Did you notice the pattern? The farmer that sows little gets little, a more generous farmer with his seeds receives a generous harvest. Relating this to your offerings is saying that you should learn to be more generous towards God if you want more of His abundance.
Many people will tell you that God doesn’t reward for giving to Him, but He clearly does. And this truth is seen clearly all through scriptures. (These rewards are not like a money doubling service, or give some money and get 500% increase in 2 weeks. God chooses how He rewards us, and He does because He loves us.)
But the part that I believe that matters the most to your giving is the next couple of verses. Very few of us do the things that these verses say. Let’s divide these verses, shall we?
1. You must each decide in your heart how much to give: Deciding in your heart how much you want to give to God is very important. Don’t go and say well when the time comes I’ll give anything. No, the Bible speaks here about being deliberate in your giving. Decide in your heart. In fact, I think paying into your church’s account directly is most helpful, you can even do it ahead of time too. Once you’ve decided how much you want to give, give that. Plan ahead of time what you want to give to God, if you have a steady stream of income, that’s even better.
2. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure: Eeeeh! The Bible is shaking some tables right here. Did you read it clearly? It says don’t give reluctantly or under pressure. Mr Okafor gave reluctantly and that’s why he could ask for his offering to be returned He wasn’t sure whether or not God deserved his money. What’s the Bible saying about if you are being reluctant to give to God? Keep your money, please.
If it’s coming from a place of a burden to you, or you feel forced, then don’t give. Then it says “don’t give in response to pressure!” Sorry, this is the Bible right here o. So the Bible is saying it is right for you to take your time before giving, if at that very moment you feel pressured to give.
The truth is many people’s hands are tied today because of how offerings are being taken. There’s nothing to feel odd about when you find yourself in this situation. If they are calling out people to give certain amounts and you know you are only going to give because of the pressure or because you want to save face and feel among, don’t give. It’s simple.
Let’s note that all forms of giving, including giving time, resources, energy, is always a sacrifice because we humans are naturally selfish. No one naturally wants to give anything to anyone. Do not confuse the sacrifice of giving with being pressured to give. The way to know is that most of the pressure is caused by an external force, not the one within you. You can willingly sacrifice, and with joy too, that’s what God wants as you’ll see in the next point.
3. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.: This is a key part! “God loves a person who gives cheerfully!” Wow. I hope you are seeing it too. I didn’t create the word of God, they are God’s words. Cheerful means to be happy, joyful, glad. Noticeably happy and optimistic.
It means what matters to God the most is not even what you give, but the state of your heart when you give what you give. We can clearly say that God doesn’t love it when you don’t give cheerfully. If you aren’t cheerful when you want to give, don’t give! Instead, cheer up and be happy that you get to give! Remember that also your tithe is an offering to God, don’t do it out of compulsion or being pressured, do it cheerfully, every time. Learn how cheerfulness works, and what lines of thought and understanding will make you cheerful all the time when you give to God.
One easy way for me is to think of all God has done for me, from my salvation and the price He paid for me, to His love for me and His presence in me always, through all the things I go through. I would be nothing without Him. Having the opportunity to give to God as a show of my love, is an honor I would forever be grateful to do.
I can never give anything enough for what He has done, I can only be overwhelmed and cheerful about giving to such a good and loving God.
I remember reading a book of someone who had an experience in the spirit and the person saw when it was offering time, there were angels taking notes of people’s attitudes when giving. Which clearly shows how important this is to God.
When you do this, the next verse says And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. This is really important.
Let’s not be like Mr Okafor! Decide in your heart what you want to give. Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure and give cheerfully. There’s abundant grace and revelation available for you to do as God pleases.
Mr Okafor after reading this article on this Sunday will heartily say:
“Usher, don’t be angry about last week. Come and take my offering, let me give to this God who has done so much for me than what words can express. To Him I owe my all!”
Thanks for reading
If this post blessed you or you learned a thing or two, please drop a comment and share with at least one person. Thanks
There’ll be a continuation of this post later that will show you the reasons why giving to God is important and understanding why we should do so cheerfully too. Stay tuned to the Victory Path