So you cannot become my disciple without giving up everything you own. (Luke 14:33)
One of the most frequent reasons given for not tithing and not giving to church and outside ministries is budget problems: "I can't afford to give." Those are the five words we want to help you avoid, because, in most cases, they simply aren't true. What we are really saying with those words is either we have put ourselves in a bad spot with debt or we would have to make lifestyle changes we are not willing to make in order to add giving to our budget. But that's the thing about truly following God. Once he invites us to get in on his big adventures, he asks us to make life changes to do so.
The examples of this are as numerous as the people we know and love in the Bible. Abraham was asked to give his son as a sacrifice. Ruth had to leave her home and her people. The disciples dropped heir fishing nets and walked away from everything they had ever known; by the time all was said and done, eleven of twelve had given their lives. There is no such thing as following God without making an adjustment in your life, and sometimes it's an adjustment that doesn't make much sense to you or others. There's a cost involved. Jesus isn't telling us in Luke 14 to literally sell everything we own. He's reminding us it's not ours to begin with.
The reason we can afford to give is because everything belongs to Jesus. We manage it well or we manage it poorly, as simple as that. The money we've been entrusted with is of varying amounts, but the principle remains the same...if we are managing whatever we have been given so poorly that we have none to give, even what we have will be taken from us. We can give. We may just need to make adjustments.
What would you be willing to sell or give up so that you could be freed to give financially? How can you free more of your time to say yes to God's invitation?