Asking Others to do What You Don't?

© The Navigators

Recently a friend strongly exhorted me to use a certain type of health supplement which he used daily. The veins in his neck bulged out as he evangelized me about the how this supplement would “do wonders for me.”

But he was constantly sick! Hmmm.

Similarly, in Ministry Partner Development we invite others to give generously, but are we giving generously?

Let’s learn a lesson from King David.

Despite bringing Israel to its high point as a nation and despite accumulating great power and wealth, the aging King David had an unfulfilled dream—building a magnificent temple for the Ark of the Covenant, which still dwelt in a 400-year-old tent (1 Chronicles 16:1).

Over 25 years David deliberately amassed huge amounts of building materials. Though David would never see the new temple, he showed great commitment to the future by generously giving 3000 talents of his personal gold and 7000 talents of his personal silver—over and above the building materials he had already accumulated. David said:

I give to the house of my God, over and above all that I have already provided for the holy temple. (1 Chronicles 29:3, italics mine.) 

So how much did he give? First Chronicles 20:2 described David’s defeat of the King of Rabbah, whose gold crown weighed one talent—David gave the equivalent of three thousand gold crowns. That’s a ton of money in any country! 

“Over and above”—David could have been content with the national silver and gold he gave during his reign as king, but he also gave personally. Seeing David’s generosity, the tribal leaders also gave, and their combined giving surpassed David’s (29:6).

But some gospel workers don’t give generously because they give their time. Sorry. It is not enough to say that you give your time. That’s your calling. David did that plus he gave his personal resources. 

Asking others to do what you do not do smacks of hypocrisy and undermines your influence in your giving partners’ lives. If you do not give generously how can you ask others to give generously?

How’s your giving?