“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Peter 4:10).
Everything we have, even our very lives, is a gift from God. Sacrificial giving is the natural response to that kind of generosity. As Psalm 116:12 says – “How can I make a return to the Lord for all His goodness to me?” It’s our natural instinct to invest in those things that are important to us. Just as we invest our time and energy, we are called to invest our financial resources as well.
Part of discipleship is learning to give sacrificially, making conscious, intentional decisions about giving. Learning to give sacrificially means learning to be more like Jesus Christ, who gave Himself for each of us. It helps to conform our hearts to the heart of the Father, who gives us every good gift, and it helps us to be more invested in the works of our parish.
Here at Our Lady of Lourdes, we encourage you to think about the Four P’s of giving:
- Planned giving means making a conscious decision to give part of our income to God. It means making your sacrificial gift to the parish a part of your budget.
- Priority giving means that your gift to God comes first, before other expenses. A priority giver puts their sacrificial offering first in their budget, even if it means sacrificing in some other area. It means God gets the “first fruits” – the choicest offering, not the leftovers.
- Percentage giving means devoting a percentage of our income, not just a dollar amount, as a sacrificial offering. The Biblical standard of giving ten percent as a tithe to God is a goal to work towards. Whatever the percentage you set aside as an offering, a portion should be devoted to supporting your parish.
- Progressive giving means that we make an effort to increase our giving over time, as we are able.
It’s important to set reasonable goals when it comes to giving. If you’re not making any regular contributions right now, then start by making a Plan to give a certain amount each week, and then work towards making your giving a Priority. If you’re already a Planned and a Priority giver, then maybe it’s time to think about becoming a Percentage giver. Last but not least, become a Progressive giver by prayerfully and intentionally increasing the amount you give back to God each year as you are able. God knows your financial situation. Ask Him to help you give sacrificially and gratefully.