There is perhaps no clearer evidence of spiritual maturity than financial generosity. Martin Luther said, “There are three conversions necessary: the conversion of the heart, the mind, and the purse.”
This is often the last area we turn over to God. We want to retain complete control. We’re uncomfortable when the topic is even brought up. It may be that our discomfort is an indication that this area is not in its proper order in our lives as Christians.
The Bible addresses the subject quite frequently. It is worth noting that money is such an important topic in the Bible that it is the main subject of nearly half the parables Jesus told. In addition, one in every seven verses in the New Testament deals with the topic.
To give you an idea of how this compares with other themes, the Bible offers about 500 verses on prayer, less than 500 regarding faith, and 2,000 verses about money. God wants this area to be in balance in our lives.
Writing to the believers in Philippi, Paul said, “Indeed I have all and abound. I am full, having received from Epaphroditus the things sent from you, a sweet-smelling aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well pleasing to God” (Philippians 4:18 NKJV).
Epaphroditus had brought a special offering from these believers. This deeply touched the apostle, because it was a sacrificial gift. There were others who could have helped him, but they didn’t. Paul was saying, “God bless you for this. It’s a sweet-smelling aroma to God that you have given in such a way.”
Most churches are supported financially by a relatively small percentage of people who have discovered the joy of giving. I would even venture to say that as a result, these people have also discovered the secret of contentment.