Myth Busters was a popular TV show a few years back. Many of you will remember it, and many of you possibly still watch the re-runs on some app or streaming service. It had a great premise of proving or disproving both mundane and outlandish myths of all kinds.
My premise here is to bust some myths about our money. Specifically, I will disprove what I call “The Dirty Dozen” myths about our money and Christian giving and stewardship. Hopefully, this will prove a timely article as many churches are right now in the process of a stewardship emphasis planning for the financial support of next year’s ministry.
My over-riding Scripture for all of these is 2 Thessalonians 3:13, “As for you, do not grow weary in doing good.” I do not have a specific Scripture reference for each of the twelve, but they all have Biblical backing. So let’s get started busting.
Myth Number One: A tithe (10%) of our money belongs to God. No, the truth is that 100%, all of our money and everything we have actually belongs to God. He has given it to us to manage, to be good stewards.
Myth Number Two: Giving a tithe in the offering plate is demanded by God. No, the truth is, for us New Testament Christians, giving a tithe is a great historical Biblical example.
Myth Number Three: Stewardship is our responsibility to the church. No, the truth is that stewardship is our responsibility as the church. We give to God, not to the church. The church, then, is the steward of the offering money, to use in the best way for God and His ministry.
Myth Number Four: Stewardship is about money. No, the truth is that stewardship is about Life. God calls us to be good stewards of everything He has given us, everything we have, including our money.
Myth Number Five: Financial stewardship encourages equal gifts from everyone. No, the truth is financial stewardship encourages equal sacrifice by each giver.
Myth Number Six: Give until it hurts. No, the truth is we want to give until it feels good. Giving results in such blessed rewards.
Myth Number Seven: Our only chance to give is in the Sunday offering plate; if we miss a Sunday service we just skip that offering. No, the truth is we have multiple ways and opportunities to give, electronic online giving or even writing and sending our check.
Myth Number Eight: We give as we prosper. No, the truth is we give as we believe. As our faith grows and strengthens, so do our offerings grow and increase.
Myth Number Nine: We give according to the needs of the church. No, the truth again is that we give according to our faith. We do not hold back until we agree with what our church is asking for money. Rather, we give and then trust God to guide our church to use all the money in wise and effective ministries.
Myth Number Ten: We give to God from what is left over after our expenses. No, the truth is we give to God first. The Bible calls this our “first fruits.” Then we ask God to make us wise stewards of the money which remains in our care and management after we give to God.
Myth Number Eleven: God needs us to give to Him. No, the truth is we have a belief-driven need to give to God in thankful response to all God has given to us.
Myth Number Twelve: Talking about money, offerings, and giving to God is uncomfortable. Absolutely not. The truth is that talking about giving to God is a complete and utter joy. It is one of the most satisfying and gratifying topics of conversation we can ever have.
So, talk to your spouse, your children, your family, your fellow church members, your friends about the joy and blessing of giving money to the Lord for use in His Church.
There we have it. “The Dirty Dozen” myths about money and giving to God are busted. Not by me, but by God and His Word in the Bible. By the way, the topic of money and giving to God is one of the most repeated topics in the Bible. That makes it worth talking about and practicing for sure.
I hope you’ll listen to your pastor talk about all this. I hope you will talk within your family and make your plans for giving to God in the coming year. You will be blessed. You will be blessed, indeed.
In all of this, we shall “not grow weary in doing good!” Amen!
[Dr. Justin Kollmeyer, a thirty-seven year resident of Fayette County, is a retired Lutheran pastor. He offers his preaching and teaching pastoral ministry to any group seeking or needing a Christ centered, Biblically based, and traditionally grounded sermon or teaching. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.]