Did you know the topic of giving makes up about 15% of the Bible’s content? Did you know that the word ‘give’ is mentioned over 900 times in the Bible?
And, yet, it just does not seem logical to give away money to God or to others. Our brain tells us, “…the bills are due, we over-drafted last month, the doctor visit is coming up, and there is No WAY I can give God $250-500 this month!” Seriously, is God trying to scam us like that email from someone claiming to be someone giving away $100,000,000? If you just give them a $10 check (for shipping/handling, of course), your social, your bank info and your dear mother’s dog.
Well, the short answer is ‘No, it’s not a scam.’ However, there are actual reasons God asks us to have a generous spirit. In this blog, I am going to share with you 4 theories about why God asks us to have a generous attitude. So here we go…
1) Being Generous Changes Our Perspective.
The first change that we see when we begin to be generous is a shift in our attitude. The #1 reason we do not want to give is because we are focused on the problem of our bills and finances. However, when you realize that giving a little to another person isn’t that bad, your financial problems begin to decrease from insurmountable to doable.
“What we focus on manifests itself, if we focus on bills they increase in size, if we focus on giving, our ability to give increases.”
Perhaps our attitude changes because we begin to be more grateful as we give more. Perhaps giving creates increased contentedness and decreased greed. When we are content, we can say, as Paul did, “I have learned in whatever position I am in, to be content (Phil. 4:11).”
2) Being Generous Keeps Us Humble.
Another reason we tend not to give is the way we think about it. We tend to think and feel that it is my money, I worked for it, why do I need to give it away? Yet, the Bible clearly lays out for us; “For in Him (Christ), we live and move and have our being (Acts 17:28).” Our very existence is from God; furthermore, David says, in his dedication prayer in 1 Chronicles 29:11 that everything on the earth and in the heavens belong to God. In other words, we are leasing from God everything we have. Giving to others keeps our attitudes away from the idea of “I did it all myself,” AND it reminds us how much God has given to us. A good question to ask ourselves is, “Can I give this ________, knowing that God has given me everything, including Jesus?” Just this simple question will go a long way in keeping us humble AND generous.
3) Being Generous Teaches Us To Trust.
Leading straight from knowing God provides everything, to TRUSTING Him to provide for us is a huge leap, that is where you have to get to. Here is my opinion on trust and faith – for a while, God is just working on getting you to acknowledge Him and His presence in your life, and that is steps 1 and 2. However, at some point, you have to get past what you can do and into the realm of only God can make things happen. This is faith, this is trust. It isn’t the safe zone anymore, but it’s where your faith begins to grow. There is a story in 1 Kings 17 that shows a widow being generous with the last of her baking supplies and then trusting God that He would take care of her. The Bible says that her baking supplies lasted every day and that she was able to continue being generous to others during the entire 3-year drought. Do you think there is a connection between generosity leading to trust and God providing? I do, I have seen it in my life many times!
4) Being Generous Encourages Divine Generosity.
There is a saying, “You can’t out give God,” and I have found this to be very, very true. Granted, a grudging gift or a gift given in expectation of God giving back to you may or may not encourage divine generosity, but God looks at the heart and your reason for giving. In Malachi 3:10, God says, “Bring the whole tithe (the first 10% of your income) into my house…TEST ME ON THIS…and SEE if I will throw open the floodgates of Heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room to store it all!” Deuteronomy 15:6 & 10 specifically states that we should be generous, because it is how God gives to us AND so that God can give more to us.
See, God doesn’t just command us to give, He also wants to BLESS us for obeying His commands.
This is how God does things, giving back to us ‘exceedingly, abundantly more than we could hope or imagine!’ An example of this in the Bible is seen in King David’s life, and it’s one of my favorite examples of God doing more than we do for him. After David had settled in as king of the Israelites, he realized that God did not have a permanent place to dwell (the sanctuary was still just a tent at this point). God told David that he would not be allowed to build the temple, that it would be David’s son who would build the temple. HOWEVER, in response to David’s desire to be generous to God, God made a promise to him to “establish your house (throne) and to always give you a family member on the throne (see 1 Kings 7:8-16).” Notice this is in response to David’s attitude and desire to give. God looks at the heart and gives generously based on our desires to know Him and to know His ways. 2 Corinthians 9:6-10 echoes this principal, when it says, “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God who is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
In conclusion, I would like to leave you with a proverb and simply ask that you pray over it, so that God can show you how to apply it to your life. Here it is –“One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed (Proverbs 11:24-25).” Leave a comment below telling us how you are applying this verse in your life this week.
Author Biography –
Lydia Young-Samson is a thriving, growing Christ-follower who is focused on showing the real chaotic, fumbling life of a budding entrepreneur, 9-to-5 career woman, pet-mommy, Superman’s wife, vegetarian and amateur photographer through her words and books. You can follow her blog or buy her book through her Facebook page at www.facebook.com/AuthorLydiaYoung