With this post my aim is to shed light on how & why you should give what you give.
It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it. – Albert Einstein
You give before you get. There would be no advantage to be gained by sowing a field of wheat if the harvest did not return more than was sown. – Napoleon Hill
For of those to whom much is given, much is required. – John F. Kennedy
If you are at all concerned about your community, your finances, your church, your country, your favorite charities, or your example to your children, proper giving should be a concept with which you are thoroughly familiar.
Today I would like to address the role our attitude plays in our giving, and how it can truly make or break what we give!
A Problematic View Toward Giving
- Giving your “last fruits” – Meaning giving is one of your last financial priorities. This is a very common pitfall and one that I fell victim to for years! The premise here, whether purposeful or involuntary, is that giving will commence once all other financial matters are in order. I contend that giving should be your first financial priority, before debt repayment, savings, or anything else.
- Giving “amounts that don’t matter” – There exists a common misconception that amounts given are in direct correlation with the meaningfulness of the gift. If you hold this view you are severely short-changing yourself. No pun intended. I would like to bring to remembrance the fact that the percentage you give is far more important than the amount you give!
- Giving is “obligatory or even burdensome” – Whether you are currently giving or aspiring to give you need to give with joy. Gloomy givers are ungrateful givers and are missing out on the joy that giving is meant to bring! To those gloomy givers I say this: if someone gave you a gift, but was noticeably unhappy about giving it, how would you feel? Many others still, may be indifferent about their giving. While they may not view their giving as a burden, they still have an unfortunate and inappropriate view toward the fundamental purpose of giving.
A Proper View Toward Giving
Firstly let us look to scripture for wisdom & encouragement from God in an effort to overcome the aforementioned problematic views.
- Give your “first fruits” – Though giving of “first fruits” was an Old Testament commandment to Jews, as Christians we need to be mindful that all things belong to God. What better way for us to thank Him than to offer the first of what He blesses us with back to Him. He promises to bless us in such a bountiful way that we will not be able to receive it! Giving first may not make “sense” to some people, but I believe it is an issue of faith, meaning there is no good explanation other than just having faith in what God promised.
- Giving “any amount always matters” – It is not the amount you give that holds meaning, but the percentage you give and the spirit with which you give it.
- Give “cheerfully” – Giving without joy is detrimental to he who gives.
“Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it. And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts.” Malachi 3:10-11
“And Jesus sat over against the treasury, and beheld how the people cast money into the treasury: and many that were rich cast in much. And there came a certain poor widow, and she threw in two mites, which make a farthing. And he called unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you, That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast into the treasury: For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.” Mark 12:41-44
“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7
Giving is not a burden, quite contrarily it is a glorious blessing! To be able to give to someone else, especially if you are filling a need, is a joyful gift that no amount of money can reproduce.
- Make giving your first financial priority, above debt repayment, saving, and investing.
- Give sacrificially
- Give with joy
Consider the old quote, “The gift of giving”. The word gift is not referring to the recipient, but to he who has given!
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