TiO 45 – Grit – Gritty Giving (Week 4)
The Main Idea
Giving begins by living life with an open hand. Gritty giving is reflected in a heart attitude and the determination to see things through.
Warm Up Questions: (Choose 1 or 2)
Q1: Do you give money to panhandlers? Why or why not?
Q2: Consider that you just bought a new car. If a good friend asked to borrow it on the day you drove it home from the lot, what would you say?
Q3: Are you more or less likely to loan someone money vs. some other object (like your lawn mower)?
Dig a Little Deeper
In his message, Todd talked about the characteristics of gritty giving.
Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-14
1. Giving is never about the money
Read 2 Corinthians 8:1-5
Q1: What was the circumstance that the Macedonian church found itself in?
Q2: What was the response of the Macedonians during their own crisis?
Q3: According to verse 1, what was the reason that the Macedonians were able to be as generous as they were?
2. Finish what you started
Read 2 Corinthians 8:6-7
Q4: What part does Paul imply the Corinthian believers have in the ongoing mission that Titus is on?
3. Giving is a barometer of love
Read 2 Corinthians 8:8-9
Q5: According to verse 8, why does Paul say he is challenging the Corinthians to give?
Q6: According to verse 9, against what should our generosity be compared?
4. Giving is characterized by proportionality and eagerness
Read 2 Corinthians 8:10-12
Q7: How should we judge our own giving?
Todd pointed to Luke 6:37-38 as an example of the value of giving.
Read Luke 6:37-38
Q8: What does Jesus say about giving in this passage?
5. Equality means we are all doing our part
Read 2 Corinthians 8:13-14
Q9: What does Paul say that we should strive for when we give?
Todd gave us a lot of things to think about and these will create opportunities for discussion. Here are some questions that you might talk about together. As you discuss remember that we were all in different places in our journey to be like Jesus. As a result, you are not all going to have the same perspectives on giving.
Q1: How do you view tithing when you think about giving to God’s work?
Q2: What do you think of the idea that giving of time or other non-financial resources can be a substitute for giving money?
Q3: How do you view giving money outside of Riverwood? Is this a part of regular giving to God’s work or is it different?
This last question may be uncomfortable for some to talk about. But those who want to should be encouraged.
Q4: Where are you with your giving? Is this easy or hard? Would you consider yourself a faithful giver to God? If not, what holds you back?
The Depth (for optional study)
In this section we are providing an in-depth look into the scriptures that the message came out of. There are two critical steps in good interpretation of the Bible. First, we try to understand what the author meant when he wrote the words and how that would have been applied by the original audience. Second, we then take the principles that the original author was trying to get across to his audience and we apply those principles to our own lives. You may want to read some of these passages yourself and/or have people in your group read them together.
2 Corinthians 8:1-14
1We want you to know, brothers and sisters, about the grace of God that has been granted to the churches of Macedonia; 2for during a severe ordeal of affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty have overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. 3For, as I can testify, they voluntarily gave according to their means, and even beyond their means, 4begging us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in this ministry to the saints—5and this, not merely as we expected; they gave themselves first to the Lord and, by the will of God, to us, 6so that we might urge Titus that, as he had already made a beginning, so he should also complete this generous undertaking among you. 7Now as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in utmost eagerness, and in our love for you—so we want you to excel also in this generous undertaking.
8I do not say this as a command, but I am testing the genuineness of your love against the earnestness of others. 9For you know the generous act of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich. 10And in this matter I am giving my advice: it is appropriate for you who began last year not only to do something but even to desire to do something—11now finish doing it, so that your eagerness may be matched by completing it according to your means. 12For if the eagerness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has—not according to what one does not have. 13I do not mean that there should be relief for others and pressure on you, but it is a question of a fair balance between 14your present abundance and their need, so that their abundance may be for your need, in order that there may be a fair balance.
Note: Paul is writing to the church in Corinth but he is relating the story of the church in Macedonia as an example. In essence he is saying, “Be like the church in Macedonia.” Paul had travelled to Corinth and had wanted to go back between his trips to Macedonia but was prevented from doing so. Instead, he wrote this letter. He references Titus, who had been to Corinth and Paul speaks of the encouragement that the Corinthian church had been to Titus.
37Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven; 38give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap; for the measure you give will be the measure you get back.”
Note: This passage is not about material giving, per se. Instead, it speaks of a heart attitude and the reward that comes to us from living in all ways with open hands. As in all promises from God, this is not a formula or a vending machine where putting in the right coins produces a predicable result.