The Curse of the Chain Letter

Do you remember chain letters? Did you ever participate in one? When I was a little girl there was a popular trend that went around where everyone was mailing chain letters. The letter usually began something like, “Dear Tracy, please send (stickers, candy, whatever) to the top person on the list, add your name to the bottom and send this letter to seven friends. In 4 weeks you will receive candy from 49 people. If you do not send this letter, you will have broken the chain and (insert list of curses like, you will have no friends, you will not be able to sleep, weird random “consequences” for not forwarding on the chain letter.) My parents never allowed me to participate in the chain letters because they didn’t want me participating in anything with “curses” involved. However, I always felt a little bit worried because of fear of the consequences. Chain letters were horrible things really.

Ironically, I think giving to many people is actually a lot like chain letters were to me. We are excited about getting more candy, but mostly we are just afraid of the consequences. Many people have completely lost sight of why they give and what it really means to be a giver. Unfortunately, a lot of preachers have just reinforced the “chain letter curse” when it comes to giving. They have preached such a message of fear and curses that people are terrified not to give, and are actually missing out on most of the benefits because there is no joy in their giving. Instead they give out of fear and obligation. Is something really a gift if it is a requirement?

Well, I have some shocking and wonderful news for you today. Giving isn’t a requirement of faith and God will not curse you if you don’t give. He sacrificed too much in Jesus to redeem you from the curse of the law. He doesn’t want to put you back under curses. His heart is NOT for you to live in poverty under a curse.
2 Corinthians 8:9 says, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich.” The Bible is very clear that God’s heart for you is not poverty. Jesus took our poverty to the cross and God is looking to put abundance into your hands so that “you always having all sufficiency in all things, may have and abundance for every good work.” (2 Cor. 9:8)

God uses giving as a doorway to bring his abundant goodness and provision into our lives. Something is released when we give like a handle on a door. Our hearts are opened to God, and we stand in a posture of openness and He can just do so much more in our lives and through our lives. So if you don’t give, it’s not that judgement and curses are coming, it’s more like you are just keeping the door closed. Yes, you may miss out on a harvest, or opportunities, but it is not God doing it to you. It is actually your choice to not tap into His abundance. He still loves you. He still wants relationship with you. You just won’t live in the fullness of what He has for you if you don’t open the door.

Galatians 3:13-14 says, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us… that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.” The entire position of a New Covenant believer is one of receiving and giving what you have received. Curses and laws are all part of the Old Covenant. Under the new covenant it is just receiving by faith and not what you can earn and do and perform. Remember, people tried to earn righteousness that way for many years before Jesus and failed miserably. It’s why we needed a Savior. Under the New Covenant you receive righteousness through what Jesus did on the cross. In fact Romans 5:17 calls it the “Gift of righteousness”. A “Gift” can’t be earned or it isn’t a gift. It’s a reward.

So don’t let your self be manipulated into giving out of performance or fear of the curse. Give because when you give it will open the doors of heaven. As Jesus said in Matt 10:8… Freely you have received, now freely give… and receive and give, and receive, and “give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over…” Now that sounds good to me. It’s like a whole truck load of candy backing up to your house (not just 49 pieces!) and the best part is there are no curses to go along with it.