Ways To Give To Southside Alliance
At Southside Alliance, we do our best to honor God in our use and approach to money. Our vision is to reflect our gratitude to God by becoming uncommonly generous people in all aspects of our lives. You are free to give in several different ways: through the weekly offering during Sunday morning worship, by mailing your contribution to the office, or electronically. In our digital age when people are increasingly paying bills and conducting commerce online, we have chosen to make online giving available to those who are interested. Please know that we have provided a secure system and that all funds will be allocated to the proper designation. We appreciate your gifts; however God has called you to contribute.
The Bible has much to say about our relationship with our money and it generally covers three specific areas: Stewardship, Debt and Generosity.
Ownership & Stewardship
The concept of stewardship is similar to the concept of management. The Bible teaches that we are not the true owner of material possessions but, rather we’re caretakers or stewards.
By accepting this idea of stewardship, we acknowledge the need to handle, use and care for these God-given possessions according to God’s wisdom and will. This shapes how we choose to spend, save, lend, borrow, invest and give the tangible resources God has given to us.
Debt & Lending
Attitudes towards debt and, inversely, lending in our culture today can be quite different from God’s view of the subject. In today’s culture we often hold a careless attitude toward debt and lending. However, God is clear in His caution to us about becoming indebted (as well as lending with a generous and gracious heart). Borrowers become enslaved to lenders. Slavery is not a condition that God desires for our lives. Enslaving others through lending is also not an action that God desires.
To the greatest extent possible, God would like to see us living free of debt and enslaved by no one. Carrying a great amount of debt and, in particular, consumer debt is also an example of unwise stewardship.
While God clearly appears to caution us against becoming (or remaining) in debt to others financially, God also commands that we honor our vows and commitments. This includes commitments to repay those who have lent to us. As lenders, on the other side of the equation, God commands us to conduct such transactions with grace and love.
Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.
1 Corinthians 16:2
On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with his income, saving it up, so that when I come no collections will have to be made.
Giving & Generosity
“Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops…” (Proverbs 3:9)
The ideas of giving and generosity reflect God’s own generosity and grace towards us. When we give, we do so without expectation of anything in return. We give from our hearts, as God has led and guided us by His spirit. Giving is not done to “earn” any special privileges from God (or others) but as a response of gratitude for what God has done for us. Giving is not to be done for reasons of guilt or obligation. A truly giving and generous heart is one that recognizes and acknowledges God’s ownership over everything and His personal grace to each of us individually.
In the Old Testament, regular giving to the church was talked about in terms of a “tithe” (a tenth) of a person’s wealth. The New Testament does not speak of the tithe but does speak about sacrificial giving. This kind of giving could even go beyond a tithe. Giving God’s way is also a primary act, not an afterthought. We give from our “first fruits”, that is the first of your income or wealth, not the “leftovers” at the end of the week.
“Be careful not to do your ‘acts of righteousness’ before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
2 Corinthians 8:1-8
And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will. So we urged Titus, since he had earlier made a beginning, to bring also to completion this act of grace on your part. But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us—see that you also excel in this grace of giving. I am not commanding you, but I want to test the sincerity of your love by comparing it with the earnestness of others.
2 Corinthians 9:1-5
There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the saints. For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given.
Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means Son of Encouragement), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.
1 Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.