As Americans I believe we have a great propensity to think and make decisions from a financial perspective. Not to say that this is always the case, but I think the predominant mentality is that if you're low on cash, you can't afford it. Now this seems completely responsible doesn't it--that a person should always be aware of how much money they have, and making decisions that fit within those means. This is an absolutely wise model when it comes to spending. But when it comes to giving, it can be very hard to rationalize doing this, especially when we're financially stressed. And although it sounds crazy, I'd like to encourage you to keep giving even when the money is tight.
The Bible has a very interesting take on giving found in Luke 21:1-4. Luke writes, "As he looked up, Jesus saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 'I tell you the truth,' he said, 'this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.'" You see it's easy to give when you have much, because it doesn't cost YOU that much. A hundred bucks is really just pocket change if you have a million in the bank. But when you're living paycheck to paycheck, when you're struggling to pay your bills, when you just got fired or laid off from your work, this is when we brush off the idea of giving. And we do it because we're not sure what the future has for us--we don't know when we'll be back in a place of financial security.
But the beauty of what the Bible says here, is that God is STOKED when we have nothing, and yet we still give. Because giving when we have nothing humbles us before God, making us trust and depend on Him to sustain us. And it takes us out of ourselves, causing us to let go of living egocentrically. These are two things God loves, because it allows him to show us how much he cares for us, and it frees us to love others as God has loved us.
Check out Luke 12: 22-32 as well! The most amazing thing about the Lord, is that he frees us to live recklessly! Not in the sense of jumping off a cliff, or robbing a bank. But God gives us complete confidence that He will provide for us, as we love people wildly by giving generously of what He has blessed us with.
But remember this, because it's important---when we become reluctant or afraid to give when it DOES cost us much, we limit our ability to see God working powerfully in our lives. I can say from experience that being in this position opens up our eyes to God's provision. And most of all, we put more value on God's provision because we're in a place where we need it so much more.
So don't be afraid to give when you don't have much! You'll see God do some amazing stuff in your life, and you'll grow more confident in His greatness and love.