Give Til It Hurts?

How many times have you heard that? Or something similar?

“If you want God to bless you, give more than you are capable of giving! Give til it hurts!”

Now, I’m not going to knock the Prosperity Gospel, though I have a laundry list of grievances against it. What I am going to say is that giving til it hurts is not something the Bible advocates.

As a matter of fact, it calls for the exact opposite.

When writing his second letter to the church in Corinth, Paul is instructing the Corinthians regarding their giving to the church in Jerusalem.

He tells them, “Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have” (2 Corinthians 8:12).

Now, many proponents of the “Give til it hurts” camp use this as their ammunition. After all, they aren’t saying to give what you don’t have. Rather, they are simply asking to make it hard for you to do the things you need to do.

However, Paul has something else to say:

“Of course, I don’t mean your giving should make life easy for others and hard for yourselves. I only mean that there should be some equality” (8:13).

You see, giving til it hurts does not mesh with the biblical viewpoint of tithing. Tithing is not meant as a way of getting God to bless us. It is not a way of proving our faith.

It is meant as a way to equalize the playing field, so to speak. We give so that others can be helped, not to help ourselves. But we also don’t give so much that we can’t live our lives.

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