Many people debate the amount of money Christians should give, but few talk about why we give in the first place. Most would agree that giving is an integral part of our spiritual lives, and we should make sure we are doing it for the right reasons. What many Christians do not realize is that there are more reasons to give than simply because God asks us to, and I will specifically discuss three reasons below.
First, giving helps us live in the image of God. In the beginning, God created us out of nothing, in His image. This is a powerful statement. We were made to be like God. Generosity is a characteristic of God that is evident throughout scripture. James 1:5 says, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” 2 Corinthians 9:8 says, “And God 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 Isaiah 55:1-7, God gives us food when we’re hungry, water when we’re thirsty, and mercy when we need healing. In Ephesians 5:1, we are told to “Follow God’s example, therefore, as dearly loved children”. Truly following God’s example includes giving generously.
Secondly, giving not only helps us to live in the image of God, it humbles us. Humility is a quality that God desires us to obtain and exude throughout our lives. 1 Peter 5:6 says, “Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.” Matthew 23:12 states that “those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” When we let go of our riches and give freely to others, it reframes our mindset so that we no longer think of ourselves as being above others. “Humility is the fear of the Lord; its wages are riches and honor and life.” (Proverbs 22:4). The payoff for living a life of humility is a full and bountiful life with God and giving can help you obtain that.
Finally, giving is important to our faith because it refocuses our attention on God. Many times in our lives, we put too much weight on how much money we have in the bank. Our motivation and drive can come from the numbers that we see on our paycheck instead of the fulfillment of working hard and glorifying God. Instead of living for the world, God tells us to “Set [our] affection on things above, not on things on the earth” (Colossians 3:2). A great way to set our eyes on things above is to give more. When we start to give away our money and our possessions, those things lose power over us and we are free to spend more time and energy on God. In Exodus 20:3, God says, “You shall have no other Gods before me.” This includes inanimate objects such as money and personal items. God also tells us, “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21). If we have our hearts set on earthly riches, we will encounter some significant problems. “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs” (1 Timothy 6:10). We need to refocus our minds on heavenly wealth, and one way to help achieve that is through generosity.
We begin to truly give for the right reasons when we focus on why we give as opposed to how much we give. One of the numerous examples in the Bible can be found in Mark 12:41-44 where the woman gave all she had to live off of. She gave everything she had while others only gave out of their wealth. Giving can be a heavy topic so please take the time needed to reflect on what God is directing you to give in your life. If you have questions or would like to develop a giving plan, please feel free to reach out to me at [email protected]