Christianity -- Christian Living/Integrity with money, giving
Hello and thank you in advance for answering my questions. I always look to the bible for answers and I know that God says in the bible to "give to Caesar what is Caesar's" assuming that means we are to pay our debts. However, I am struggling on whether or not I should pay old debts and not give or give and not pay old debts? Or try to do both? The old debts I can pay but not just yet. I got injured in an accident and reimbursement for those medical bills. I also got behind on a few other bills too. I've also felt like God wants me to give to the ministry as well but kept putting it off and just signed up to give last week. I was thinking I can't really give if I owe creditors money because that is not right either. But then if I don't give anything to the ministry I am always taking and taking and never giving back. I am trying to work my way in to ministry and feel that one must have integrity and old debts paid off before doing so. I wasn't sure if maybe just do my best to pay a little something in every area and trust God to help? What are your thoughts? Thank you and have a great day.
Good afternoon V,
It’s a pleasure to respond. Let me start by asking you a question.. do you attempt to pay your debt before you go to church and become hesitant about giving? In other words, is it that the only time that you think about paying back your debt is when you are asked to give money to the church? Otherwise, you’re buying yourself clothes, shoes, partying, and etc… If so, this is simply a distraction to get your mind off of helping to build God’s kingdom. If not, pray about the situation and before and during church, ask God how much should you give. God is not the author of confusion (1 Corinthians 14:33) and neither are you. And He certainly would never lead you to give your utility bill and/or rent/mortgage payment to anything other than what it should be used for. God is a God of order and decency. He’s a God of excellence.
If you have the means, do both. It is possible for you to give and to pay off your debt (old or new). Furthermore, there are so many ways that you can give to the building of God’s kingdom, and not just monetarily; you can donate belongings to families in need, you can teach, preach, exhort, or evangelize, you can feed the hungry, help the poor, visit the sick & shut-in, visit people in prison (Matthew 25:36-41 ), visit or volunteer to help children who are in infant homes formerly known as orphanages, serve in a ministry (dance, drama, singles, usher, outreach, missions). The work is plentiful but the laborers are few (Matthew 9:37)
Also, remember that God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7). If you are worried, afraid, hesitant, uncertain/doubtful, or unwilling that pretty cancels out cheerful. But, that does not mean that you don’t love God and have a desire to please Him. And absolutely nothing can separate you from the love of Christ (Romans 8:3).
Finally, it sounds like your heart is in the right place and the fact that your desire is to give instead of always taking is a sign spiritual maturity or that you are growing in the things of the Lord; your heart desires what He wants- a heart that gives. Again, pray and ask God to give you an unwavering heart, continue to grow in the things of God, cast all your cares before God (1 Peter 5:7), and then trust that He is faithful to respond simply because He is a loving God and He’s concerned about the smallest of things that concern you. In closing, please mediate on the scripture… Obedience is better than sacrifice (1 Samuel 15:22). I wish you the best because You are Royalty! Serving everyday leaders who are Carefully Distinguished; Ready to Serve & Destined for Greatness. Check out my blog at http://4everydayleaders.wordpress.com;
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