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According to the Generous Giving organization, only 9% of “born-again” adults tithed in 2004. They found that as people’s spirituality declines, so does their giving. Jesus talked about money on many occasions. He was especially incensed at those who ripped off the poor to pad their own pockets. We read in Luke 20 that Jesus chided the religious leaders for the way they shamelessly cheated widows out of their property; then pretended to be pious by making long prayers in public. Jesus said, “because of this, they will be severely punished.” Soon after making that observation, he saw a widow put two coins into a collection box. When he saw what she did he said, “This poor widow has given more than all the rest of them, for they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” God expects us to be wise in the use of all the money he enables us to hold. He wants us to support His work, not with a lot of fanfare, as the Pharisees often did, but in loving response to God’s generosity to us. We support God’s work through our church or other worthy organizations. Of course, we must hold them accountable for using funds wisely. But we can remember that wise and generous giving pleases God; it benefits others, and it brings joy to the one who gives.

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