Finding the Joy in Giving

Why do we give? Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive,” but do we really believe that or is our faith more in our fear that we will be cursed if we don’t give? If giving is nothing more than a category in your budget, if it has become just a check mark on your financial TO DO list, and if you have just been giving out of a sense of obligation and compulsion, then you have been missing out on a huge part of God’s heart for you in your finance. I know there is a huge risk in locking you into that sense of obligation further when I talk about giving in a book on budgeting. But the truth is, wise management of your resources will only bring you so far. You have to tap into the joy of giving if you are ever going to see the rest of the picture. There is a purpose for your money that is bigger than just managing your money well so that you can have more money. It is time to get a revelation of giving as the seed that God has put into your hands so that you can be a blessing to all of the family’s of the earth.

That may sound like an impossible mission when you are looking at the bottom line of your budget. However, if you only work to provide for your own needs, then you will never know the joy and abundance that God is longing to add to your efforts. It is so easy to become self-absorbed when we only focus on our own needs. I read an article in a magazine a few years ago that left such an impression on me. It was the results of a research study that actually followed people with depression who began to volunteer and give to people who were in need. The effect was powerful on the depression. Many of them came completely out of it, and most of them experience a renewed purpose for life. If all you can see is your own need, then it is easy to become miserly and hoard your resources. And somehow the more you hoard, the more you will fear losing what you have and soon you are bound to your lack. God wants so much more for you than this, and that is why He loves it when you give. Giving is so much more than just a category in your budget. It is actually a lifestyle.

I want to share this verse with you today found in Acts 20:33-35,
“I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. Yes you yourselves know that my own hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me. I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

This is the apostle Paul talking to the leaders of the church in Ephesus, but what a fascinating verse this is! Have you ever thought about the fact that Paul says he worked for a living, and he worked so hard that he supported everyone who was with him and gave to those in need. In fact, the essence of what Paul emphasizes when it comes to giving is that we are blessed to be a blessing to those in need, and a large part of why we work is to be a blessing to those in need. And then Paul says that he demonstrated this principle so that all of us might give to those in need as well.

Have you ever thought of your job as a vehicle to provide for giving to those in need? Most of us think of our work as provision for our own need, but obviously there is a much bigger picture in place when it comes to giving. In Ephesians 4 he says, “Let him who stole, steal no longer, but rather let him labor, working with his hands what is good, that he may have something to give him who has need.” Paul is saying that giving should be more than just a nice thing to do as part of your budget. Instead, Paul says that giving should be the motivator for your entire livelihood. What a concept!

Do you realize that every New Testament reference to giving talks about giving to those in need? It doesn’t talk about “giving to God.” In fact, when you think about it, why would God need your money? He owns everything. He has all He needs. I don’t think He has ever been after our money. He has always been after our hearts and He is also looking for avenues to bless us and to bless many others through us and that is why His heart is for us to be givers. There is something so powerful about being a giver and meeting the needs of the people around you. What a joy it is to get to be a blessing. If you have lost your joy in giving it is probably because you have lost the purpose of giving and are missing the amazing element of the supernatural when it comes to giving.

So why do we give? We give because we were made in the image of our Heavenly Father and He is an amazing giver. It is actually part of our “DNA” to be a giver. And when we give we give we tap into God’s heart for the people around us and into our purpose for having abundance. Not that we give out of our abundance. We give no matter how much or how little we have, but the good news is God supplies even the seed for sowing… but that is a whole other blog. So don’t miss this week because this just might be the good news that you have been waiting for in your finances. Don’t get locked up by fear of how are you going to fit “giving” into your budget. This isn’t a rule; it’s a way of life. And I guarantee you that if you tap into this, it will be life changing.

“But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.” ~2 Corinthians 9:6-8