All the believers were one in heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything they had.
I believe most Christ followers want to be givers, not just consumers. Most want to be free from the love of money and to be seen as generous with their time, their abilities and their monies. All of us instinctively know that money is a terrible god, promising us something it cannot deliver. We also see the immense needs all around us and we want to help. We really do.
Giving our money is a lot like losing weight. We have to make daily choices and be patient with the process. We have to set attainable and measurable goals with our lifestyle and spending, knowing that one day we can win the race if we will just be faithful.
There are three levels of generosity, each requiring a different level of faith and discipline.
These people give the leftovers of their money. This level requires little faith and is motivated primarily by guilt or duty. They are typically inconsistent, giving only when prompted by a Pastor at a church, or by an appeal on social media. If they have money, they will give a portion, but the amount never stretches them out of their comfort zone and always makes “sense”. They love the idea of giving, but are often ill-prepared to give.
These people have set aside the first 10% of their income to give to the local church. This is a huge step up from the first level, because some faith now enters the equation. These people believe that God can do more with the remaining 90% if they are willing give the first. Tithers typically give consistently and seldom have to be prompted or “motivated” to give. These are people who have disciplined themselves to live with less money than they make. They have made some sacrifices to get to this place of generosity, which shows a great deal of maturity.
3. Extravagant Givers
While still tithing, they give even more to ministries, single parents, missionaries, and struggling neighbors. These people are super budget conscious, intentionally living below their means and setting aside money now, knowing they will have lots of chances to give later. They are attracted to bold vision and are never offended at being asked to give because they see it as a privilege and as worship.
They carry the same faith as the widow seen by Jesus in the temple giving everything. They completely believe that God owns it all and they are just stewards. They are prayerful and wise about their giving, but will not hesitate to give large percentages if God directs. This group prefers anonymity and will ask a lot of really good questions because they need details. They take their time getting to know ministry leaders and only give when they see high levels of accountability and integrity.