A question we have probably asked ourselves at times is, why do we give?
Do we give to our church because they need money? Because we are asked to do so? Or because we feel guilty if we don’t? This question is interesting because while some can say, “Oh, of course, I know why we give.” Many people don’t know and have never really thought it through. Yet they still give. Others don’t understand why and use it as a reason to be neglectful in their giving.
In church, when we talk about giving, we typically have two types. Tithes and Offerings. Here is a common explanation of the difference — A tithe is a specific amount (10% of your income) that you give first, and an offering is anything extra that you give beyond that. Giving out of your income is a way to grow in faith and become more disciplined. We are not under the law of a tithe; we have the freedom and are blessed to be able to give much more than that!
Some are naturally led into generosity, yet for others, it’s something that gives them great anxiety and is very difficult. One person is not fundamentally more spiritual than the other; God gives us different talents. Either way, giving out of abundance usually is easier than giving out of a little. This principle is found in the gospels of Mark and Luke (Mark 12:41-44, Luke 21:1-4). The rich gave freely out of abundance with prideful hearts, but the poor widow gave all she had humbly & generously out of little. God has been generous to us and given us everything we have.
We give because it’s God’s money and resources and because we are God’s adopted children, and we belong to Him! This is why we can and should give, but here is an even more critical question. Why do you give?
Make giving personal. Instead of solely focusing on why we as a church and as believers should give, we should look into our personal lives and ask ourselves “Why do I give?” Or “Why don’t I give?”. I can only speak for myself in this section as I am the only one besides God who knows my own heart. I am naturally generous; I enjoy giving people my time, my abilities, my things, and even sometimes my money. Before you think, “Wow, he’s pretty pretentious”, the aspect of giving that I’m bad at and struggle constantly is giving just because I want to bless someone or obey God. I love receiving recognition for my gifts, regardless of what it is. It’s that feeling of seeing someone opening the present you got them on Christmas morning. Yes, I gave, and it was received and appreciated, but even more so, I received joy from their reaction to my generosity. This is an aspect of giving where I need to continue working. I must be generous continually and give out of anonymity more and more.
Finding joy in giving is excellent and it’s ok to give publicly at times. However, we grow so much more when we give more and more, and we give because God has allowed us to. Give a tithe, give to missions, give to the needy, give to your family, give to your friends. Give to God because God is good. If you don’t give, give some; if you give some, give a little more; if you give a little more, give much more, you can’t out-give God.
From my Grandmother Veneta Willie~
“When it comes to giving, we are a hose. There are all kinds of hoses for purchase: big, small, expensive, and cheap. No matter what hose you buy or have, one thing is true of all of them. One thing will be missing from every one of those hoses, water. When we buy that hose and take it home, we won’t be able to give our garden any water. Unless we hook it up to the faucet, to the source, we will be dry and useless. Once we are attached, we can let God flow through us and work through us, and his power, love, grace, mercy, and His money can begin to flow and saturate the world. So, you say I don’t have the money to give right now, you’re right! You say I don’t have the time to give right now, and you are right. You say I have nothing good to give; you are absolutely right! I am a dry, useless hose unless I let God flow through me day in and day out”.