Now, brethren, we wish to make known to you the grace of God which has been given in the churches of Macedonia, that in a great ordeal of affliction their abundance of joy and their deep poverty overflowed in the wealth of their liberality. – 2 Corinthians 8:1-2
As a church leader (and former accountant), I conducted a lot of financial counseling. Some of it came by request, some out of a crisis, but most through premarital classes. In this experience with young couples, I found that most did not practice biblical stewardship, which includes giving sacrificially to God’s purposes and work.
“Reasons” for neglecting this practice were never in short supply, but the usual excuse that I heard was, “We cannot afford it.” While this might have seemed forensically true “on paper,” the fact is that a person cannot “spiritually” afford to neglect sacrificial giving. It is a biblical principle that reflects upon a person’s understanding of God’s total ownership. To ignore His sovereignty over of all we manage is to also reject His providential care.
The churches of ancient Macedonia did not give out of their surplus, they gave out of their poverty. In this way, God received the glory and they received His intended blessing.
If I leave behind me 10 pounds, you, and all mankind bear witness against that I lived and died a thief and a robber. – John Wesley