February 4, 2016

Biblical Financial Principles: The Generous Giver

is one who gives with an obedient will, a joyful attitude, and a compassionate heart.

We are made to give.

We are made in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). God is gracious and generous. We will lead a more satisfied and fulfilled life when we give to others.

Give as a response to God’s goodness.

“Every good and perfect gift is from above…” (James 1:17). Therefore, we give out of gratefulness for what we have received.

Give to focus on God as our source and security.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).

Give to help achieve economic justice.

“Our desire is … that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need” (2 Corinthians 8:13-14). Throughout Scripture, God expresses his concern for the poor and calls us to share with those less fortunate.

Give to bless others.

“I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.” (Genesis 12:2). If we are blessed with resources beyond our needs, it is not for the purpose of living more lavishly but to bless others. We are blessed to be a blessing.

Be willing to share.

“Command them [the rich] to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share” (1 Timothy 6:18).

Give to break the hold of money.

Another reason to give is that doing so breaks the hold that money might otherwise have on us. While the Bible doesn’t specifically say so, it is evident that persons who give freely and generously are not controlled by money but have freedom.

Give joyfully, generously, in a timely manner.

“Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints” (2 Corinthians 8:2-4).

Give wisely.

“We want to avoid any criticism of the way we administer this liberal gift” (2 Corinthians 8:20).

Give expectantly and cheerfully.

“…The one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully” (2 Corinthians 9:6-7 NLT; see also verses 10-14).

Motives for giving are important.

Unless our motives are right, we can give all we have — even our bodies as sacrifices — and it will be for naught (I Cor. 13). We can be scrupulous with tithing and still not have the right motives. Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of his day for this very thing: “…You hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices — mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law — justice, mercy and faithfulness” (Matthew 23:23).

Help the people in your church or organization develop a stewards’ mindset with a year-round stewardship ministry.  The Good $ense Stewardship Ministry Pack contains the resources to get you going.