When to say no to giving?

The other day I received this email from a reader…

Hi Bob,

When is it ok to say no in your giving? It seems through my giving I have gained a reputation of being a bank to some needy people. I myself am in debt and seem to give more than take care of my own needs. These same people have come to expect me to give and some have even demanded that I give more than I have to give. I admit I am becoming irritated and have told some of them in irritation that I am not their personal piggy bank. However, I feel guilty for turning them away. Is my limit to giving a sin? I know Jesus implores us to have compassion on those less fortunate, especially when we have huge financial needs. I am understanding His Kingdom economics and ask His forgiveness if my giving is done out of duty and irritation.

While this is a touchy subject, I wanted to share this because I think it is something that many Christians need help with. If you have been around this site a bit, you know that the whole mission is improve as stewards in order that we will be able to give more. To reiterate, I strongly advocate giving and think that it is one of the best things we can do with our lives. But, I believe there is a wrong and right way to give.

Personally, I have seen a few too many people give under compulsion – which scripture clearly tells us to avoid…

“But without your consent I wanted to do nothing, that your good deed might not be by compulsion, as it were, but voluntary” Philemon 14

“Each of you must give what you have decided in your heart, not with regret or under compulsion, since God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Cor 9:7

Also, I don’t get too excited when I see people go in debt in order to give to someone. While the intentions are probably good, is it really giving if you don’t have it to give?

So, I want to open this up to you (the readers) and get your opinion on this…

How do you know when to say no to giving?

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