Some people donate to charitable causes because they are fearful that God might get angry at them if they don't. However, world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham says Christians should never feel "obligated" to give money to God's work.
"Giving to God's work, the Bible says, shouldn't just be an obligation — much less a way to make God happy with us. Instead, giving should be a result of something far deeper: our love for God and his work," Graham writes for The Kansas City Star.
No matter how generous people's donations might be, their donations will not matter if they think they are ultimately buying God's favour and earning their salvation, says Graham. God is not impressed by riches, and no amount of money will be enough to buy eternal life.
But the good news, according to Graham, is that people need not shell out a single dime to attain eternal life.
"Our salvation comes solely through Jesus Christ, who by His death and resurrection purchased our salvation for us, and now offers it to us as a free gift," he says.
So before people give money to God's causes, Graham wants them to reflect on their commitment to Jesus. "Realise how much He loved you — and how much He continues to love you, no matter what you're going through. God's promise is for you: Nothing 'will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord' (Romans 8:39)," he says.
After doing so, Graham suggests people ask God's help in responding to His love in "every way you [possibly] can," including one's giving. Even if people only give small amounts, Graham says God will welcome the donation with open arms, since it will be used to carry out His glory.