We may be tempted to think of giving as being all about the recipient. After all, the money a ministry collects does much good. It aids the work of the ministry, helps promote the gospel, and delivers aid to those in real need. What we may overlook is that the Bible teaches us that giving also is of benefit to the giver. When Paul made an appeal for funds he told the Philippians: “Not that I am looking for a gift, but I am looking for what may be credited to your account” (Phil 4:17). Paul is telling us that the giver himself is blessed by his act of generosity, since he earns credits to his account in heaven (not credits toward salvation, but credits toward the degree of rewards believers receive in the afterlife).
JESUS AND GIVING
In the Gospels (Mark 10:16-18, Luke 18:17-19, Matt 19:15-17), Jesus offered the Rich Young Ruler a chance to be blessed by giving away his wealth, which Jesus saw as an impediment to his repentance and entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven. Giving is a response to an invitation from the Lord to participate in his work and join into his plan of redemption.
HOW DO WE GIVE?
- Are we guilty of a covetous heart for which giving is the biblical antidote?
- Are we giving in ways which earn us credit in heaven?
- Are we giving with a heart of generosity and selflessness?
In any case, every one of us benefits from being a cheerful and generous giver, whether we can give fortunes like the Queen of Sheba (2 Chr 9:9) or like the humble widow who gave two small coins (Mark 12:42-44).
Giving benefits the giver!