Giving and Tax-Deductions
Chris' Corner -- Sunday, October 3, 2021
“Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share” (1 Timothy 6:17–18).
Most of us don’t consider ourselves as being rich. But if we have more than someone in need, we are better off and in a position to share. As Christians, we are called upon to be benevolent. It’s not hard to see an abundance of people all around us who are in need.
We all get those solicitation calls to donate to non-profit organizations, political causes or candidates, or other general fundraisers. We are told these donations are tax-deductible, but how would we know? In our country, only the IRS decides what is tax-deductible and what is not. Will this be a determining factor in our giving?
The IRS determined long ago that church donations are tax-deductible. What if that law changes, and we can no longer get an extra benefit from our giving? Would it become a factor in how much we give?
Many organizations call and ask for money. No doubt they are hurting these days in what they bring in. Indeed, the church would be hurting if Christians didn’t give enough. Or worse, if people stopped contributing to the works of the church altogether.
Many are in need and hurting. We may not be able to help everyone or give to every cause, but we can help some. “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith” (Galatians 6:9, 10).
Our giving to the church is also commanded. ”Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I have given orders to the churches of Galatia, so you must do also: On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come” (1 Corinthians 16:1, 2; cf. 2 Corinthians 8 and 9). We follow the pattern of the Old Testament in giving our “first fruits.” We give from off the top as we have prospered and purposed in our hearts before we spend on other things.
At the end of chapter nine in 2 Corinthians, Paul expressed his gratitude for everyone’s willingness to share. Then he adds, “Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!” When we decide on our giving, we are drawn to the ultimate giver; God and the sacrifice He gave, His Son and our Savior.
A far more significant benefit than a tax-deduction is what God promises. “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you” (Luke 6:38).
“But who am I, and who are my people, That we should be able to offer so willingly as this? For all things come from You, And of Your own we have given You” (1 Chronicles 29:14).