Without a doubt, the Bible is full of references to generosity and giving. In fact, you could even say that generosity is central to the Christian life! Christians are well-known for their compassion and sacrificial giving. But for some, giving becomes more of a burden, even though God gives clear commands to give. So, why does God want us to be generous?
Not only does God want us to be generous, but he also wants us to have joy as we give. We’re going to take a look at the Bible and see what God tells us about generous, joyful giving.
1. Because God Himself is a Generous Giver
One day, I was listening to Dave Ramsey (as I do rather frequently) as he described one of his morning quiet times. He was reading through the Gospel of John and came across John 3:16 as he had done dozens of times before. Then his son walked in, and it hit him. God gave his only Son for us. He paid the ultimate price so that we could have a relationship with him. And he gave his Son for us so willingly.
Our God is a giver! We reflect the image of God more fully when we are also generous givers. When God created us, he put some of his characteristics within us, including the desire to be generous. Therefore, giving isn’t something we do just for ourselves, or even solely for other people. Rather, giving is an act of worship the causes us to reflect God’s glory.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
“Nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything.” – Acts 17:25
2. Because Everything Belongs to God
It’s safe to say that you probably go to work on a daily basis. Unless you own your own business, you work for an employer. Your role and what you do with company resources are determined by the owner. Why? Because everything in that business belongs to someone other than you. You are there to manage the company’s resources to ensure continued growth. In return, your employer pays you a salary and even offers some decent rewards (hopefully).
In the same way, we are managers of the resources God provides for us. Our things don’t actually belong to us. Truthfully, God gives us possessions and money to manage faithfully for him. That means God, not us, has the final say in what we do with the money he entrusts to us. And yes, he does give us permission to use and enjoy it. However, we are also to use what he gives us for the benefit of others.
“The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof.” – Psalm 24:1
“For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.” – Hebrews 3:4
3. Because Giving Makes Us Rich with Joy
My grandfather was one of the richest men I knew. And no, I’m not talking about material wealth. I’m speaking of spiritual wealth. Service to others and generosity defined his life. He understood that true joy does not come from having a lot of stuff. Instead, he chose to become a loud advocate for compensating the pastor fairly, and he was always willing to give his grandchildren whatever was in his wallet. He continued to live his life with joy right up to the day he died.
The Bible never promises insurmountable material wealth when we give. However, it does promise blessings from God. These blessings aren’t always material. But God’s blessings always bring joy with them. After all, God loves a cheerful giver!
“As for the rich in this present age, charge them not to be haughty, nor to set their hopes on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly provides us with everything to enjoy. They are to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share, thus storing up treasure for themselves as a good foundation for the future, so that they may take hold of that which is truly life.” – 1 Timothy 6:17-19
God Wants Us to Be Generous
God gave us everything when he gave us his only Son. Plus, we live in the wealthiest nation on the face of the planet! Take a moment to reflect on the conditions during the time of the New Testament. Poverty and illness were rampant. Life expectancy was less than 50 years. Yet, Christians shared and gave whatever they could. Sacrificial, joyful giving defined the people of the Church.
Remember, all that you have belongs to God. You’re just a temporary manager of his belongings. God gives you permission to enjoy some of it, but he also wants you to use it for his purposes as well.
So, where do you begin? I recommend that you start with tithing to your local church. Yes, even if you’re in debt. If you have a lot of debt, tithing is probably where you stay for a while. However, I want to get started on a plan to get out of debt! Why? Because debt robs you of opportunities to be more generous. Therefore, get on a budget and learn to manage God’s resources!
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