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What It Means to Excel at Giving

Paul said, "See that you also excel in this grace of giving" (2 Corinthians 8:7). Like piano playing, giving is a skill. With practice, we get better at it. We can learn to give more, give more often, and give more strategically. We teach the pursuit of excellence in our vocations. Why not make giving something we study, discuss, and sharpen, striving for excellence?

The Macedonian believers gave "as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability" (2 Corinthians 8:3). What does it mean to give beyond our ability? It means pushing our giving past the point where the figures add up. It means giving when the bottom line says we can't.

Scott Lewis attended a conference where Bill Bright [evangelist and founder of Campus Crusade for Christ] challenged people to give one million dollars to help fulfill the Great Commission. This amount was laughable to Scott—far beyond anything he could imagine since his machinery business was generating an income of under fifty thousand dollars a year.

Bill asked, "How much did you give last year?" Scott felt pretty good about his answer: "We gave seventeen thousand dollars, about 35 percent of our income."

Without blinking an eye, Bill responded, "Over the next year, why don't you make a goal of giving fifty thousand dollars?"

Scott thought Bill hadn't understood. That was more than he had made all year! But Scott and his wife decided to trust God with Bill's challenge, asking [God] to do the impossible. God provided in amazing ways. With a miraculous December 31 provision, the Lewises were able to give the fifty thousand dollars. Again, God provided.

Scott said they have passed the one-million-dollar mark in their giving. The best part is that they aren't stopping. That's what it means to excel at giving.

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