Something that I have heard in churches before is to make a faith promise towards giving in a specific area. I'm not sure I agree with this approach, because how can we promise to give something we do not yet have? Even James 4:14 says that our life is but a vapor. In Proverbs 27:1 we are told not to boast for tomorrow, because we don't know what a day may bring forth.(paraphrased) So what does it say in the NT about giving what you don't have right now?
2 Corinthians 8:12 "For if there be first a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not."
Luke 11:41 "But rather give alms of such things as ye have; and, behold, all things are clean unto you."
Next we read about not judging what others give or don't give. Jesus often was rebuking the Pharisees and scribes for their boasting of how they were obeying The Law. In my mind this is like a child who is seeking approval from their parents at the expense of their siblings. Maybe you've experienced a situation where one child is being loud and another is sitting quietly being patient. The patient child speaks up with a phrase like this, "Mommy, I'm being a good girl aren't i? I'm being so nice and quiet." As she glares at the child who isn't.
Now look at what Jesus made sure to point out to his disciples abut giving in the book of Mark. Jesus witnessed a widow placing her offering in the treasury. In this passage he is showing them an example of a sacrificial heart, yet she did not give out of what she did NOT have, but gave what she DID have. And not only that, but it was ALL she had to give.
Mark 12:43-44,"And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: 44For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living."May we take some time to ponder our hearts as we learn how to give, from the examples of the New Testament. Please stay tuned for more from this series in the days ahead.