The closer I get to the end, the more I think about where I started. We began this capital campaign series six weeks ago, but we had been planning it for nearly six months. Over the last six months even my view on giving has changed.
For a long time, I thought giving was a necessary obligation. Almost like paying the water bill but to God. In these last six months, and more specifically in these last six weeks, my view on giving has expanded in ways I didn’t expect it to.
I still view giving as a necessity, but not as a negative obligation like paying a bill but rather as a necessity in growth as a spiritually mature Christian. I think about Pastor Kevin’s message this week as he read about the church in Corinth, “But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” 2 Corinthians 8:7. Something about this verse spoke to me in a new way this last week. Paul is letting us know that we can do everything right, we can be leaders in the church, we can love God, we can know everything there is about the Bible, we can love all of those around us in true community but, in the midst of all of that, we need to learn to excel in giving.
Giving is not about just checking a box for God, to the contrary, it’s about having a physical sign of our spiritual growth to trust God with our finances. It’s about giving something to God as a recognition that we have placed our full trust, hope, and future in the Father of the Heavenly Lights.
As we read the passage below, I implore you to pray about commitment Sunday this coming week. While you pray, I encourage you to ask God to use commitment Sunday as a milestone for the next season of spiritual growth for you individually and for Westbrook. Pray that we all take a step forward as we bring our commitments forward to excel in giving.
2 Corinthians 8:7-12
7 But since you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
8 I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.
10 And here is my judgment about what is best for you in this matter. Last year you were the first not only to give but also to have the desire to do so. 11 Now finish the work, so that your eager willingness to do it may be matched by your completion of it, according to your means. 12 For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.
What does it look like in your life to excel in giving?
Which of the projects laid out in this initiative excite you to give?
How do you want to grow in spiritual maturity because of a renewed commitment to give?