Giving sparingly, receiving sparingly
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
(2 Corinthians 9:6)
Don't be fooled. Spiritual arithmetic also applies in the Kingdom of God and the Scriptures. The word 'sparingly' is derived from the term 'sparing' which refers to the action of restricting or using too little.
If you sow sparingly, you will reap sparingly. Here is an example to illustrate my point better: 'Suppose that I make a good business deal and I take 50000 USD profit out of the same deal. If I return to God 5 dollars in the church offering basket, then I would have given sparingly. In Malachi 3:10 God says: 'Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. ' .
Notice that He said: 'The FULL tithe'.
The tithe is defined as 10% of what we make as personal earnings. On the other hand, the offerings form part of the giving we set in our hearts to give. The term offering is derived from the verb 'offer' which in turn refers to an' initiative from someone to make a gift'.
1. We do not define how much we will give as tithe because God has already defined it and He has laid a claim on it. On the other hand, offerings are gifts and which values are set in our hearts (I refer to 2 Corinthians 9:7).
2. During our cycle of earnings, anything we give below 10% qualifies to be labelled as 'spare giving'. A low disproportionate offering is a gift that barely relates to our level of earnings.
Why did I share this?
People from various walks of life often open up to me concerning their life issues. And one of the issues that I get to hear quite a lot is related to finance and well-being. As we discuss the issue ,the question of 'tithes and offerings' often comes into play. And in 90% of cases, they all claim to be regularly giving to church and ministries,yet things are tough.
Now, there was a time where I would be assuming that they were not being truthful with me but after my own personal experiences and after meditating on the 2 Corinthians 9:6, I realize this:' you can give but if you are constantly giving sparingly, you will receive sparingly'.
The treatment you display through your giving, will be given back to you. Spare-giving can affect the smooth performance of a church or ministry through unwanted interruptions. Service utilities, church salaries,programs,and many other church related activities can suffer interruption or fall short of their intended outcomes due to 'spare-giving' from members.
As a response to 'spare-giving', God gives to the 'spare-giver' in a sparring manner. The intent is to make the 'spare-giver' feel the medicine of his/her own behavior so that his/her giving attitude changes.
Do you know how 'receiving sparingly' feels like? It feels like a bloated funnel or a state of constipation. It is very similar to a tape of water that only drips. If you have been experiencing 'delayed drops' in spite of giving, it could also mean that you are giving sparingly.
Things are slow, filled with interruptions and below normal value because you give sparingly.
Give generously and with gladness...you will see the change.