There is more to giving than simply an act of obedience and reluctance. Giving can bring you joy beyond what you may have ever imagined, and through giving, God can grow you in deeper and more intimate ways.
Have you ever thought about why you give? Most American Christians give only about 2% of their income, but why do they do this? Are they giving because they think they have to? Or are they giving from an attitude of the heart?
Many Christians are only giving that 2% because they are stuck in a state of complete reluctance. They know it pleases God, yet they are not yet willing to let go of the extra cash every month.
I want to open you up to the possibilities that God has greater plans for you in this area than you think. You may be sitting there wondering to yourself, “How does God expect me to give? I don’t have anything…” or you may be thinking “I already give enough.” Whatever might be running through your mind, I challenge you to see that the Lord has said some very specific and inspiring things on this topic in His word.
Do you remember the story of the poor widow? Her gift to God was used as an example to all believers in Luke 21:1-4 where it says, “And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury. 2 And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. And He said, ‘Truly I say to you, this poor widow put in more than all of them; for they all out of their surplus put into the offering; but she out of her poverty put in all that she had to live on’.”
This verse is a great challenge to many believers today, as well as the believers who heard this at the time. Jesus used this widow as an example because her heart was in the right place. In whatever you decide to give, it is important to examine where you heart is at on this topic. Do you give out of reluctance? Do you feel that you must write that check, that you would never give more than you “have to”?
I am always encouraged to read Paul’s delight in the generosity of the Corinthian church. In 2 Corinthians 9:6-13 we read,
6The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifullywill also reap bountifully. 7Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, forGod loves a cheerful giver. AndGod is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiencyin all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. 9As it is written, “He has distributed freely, he has given to the poor; his righteousness endures forever.”
10He who suppliesseed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing andincrease the harvest of your righteousness. 11You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, whichthrough us will produce thanksgiving to God. 12For the ministry of this service is not only supplyingthe needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God. 13By their approval of this service, theywill glorify God because of your submission flowing from yourconfession of the gospel of Christ, and the generosity of your contribution for them and for all others…”
God has created us to experience His provision in this area of our lives. Do you see in those verses that the Corinthian church glorified God through their submission? Although giving can be considered a way of submitting to Christ, it is also a glorious activity that brings much fruit in your life. In verse 11, we see that they will be enriched because of their generosity, and it will all lead back to one thing: thanksgiving to God.
Giving is not an overnight process. It takes complete altering of your view of this life on earth to see that God wants much more than your pocketbook, He wants your heart.
His plan is to take your heart, and transform it to see that the things of this world are empty, meaningless, and not what we should put our time, talent and treasures into. God has a much better investment in mind for us, His kingdom.
I challenge you today to take a step towards generous giving. Make God the center of that check, not your thoughts or worries about what it will mean to your personal bank account. Maybe just give a little bit more than you did last time, let go of a few extra dollars. Start to think about that eternal balance sheet, about the significance of giving to something much bigger than yourself.
You never know what will happen next…
By: Erika Pizzo