The Principles of Jesus: The Giving Lifestyle
One of the amazing principles Jesus Christ exuded while on earth is the principle of giving; all through His ministry, He gave through healing, preaching the Word, helping the less privilege etc. Giving is not limited to financial assistance; it goes beyond that… do you know your smile can save someone’s life? Unfortunately, we do not see “giving” the way our heavenly Father sees it; we sometimes give to uplift our ego or out of compulsion, but what does the Bible say about giving?
Matthew 6:1-4 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before men to be noticed by them; otherwise you have no reward with your Father who is in heaven. So when you give to the poor, do not sound a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and the streets, so that they may be honored by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full. But when you give to the poor, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving will be in secret; and your Father who sees what is done in secret will reward you.”
The above scripture shows us that when we do anything including giving to attract men’s praise, then it is in vain.
Secondly, God loves a cheerful giver; you do not have to be motivated before you help people in need, neither do you wait for your pastor to preach giving before you remember the people close to you that cannot afford to eat. 2 Corinthians 9:6 “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Five things you need to understand about giving
God does not accept all types of giving; here is a question you need to ask yourself before reading on, am I giving the Jesus kind of way? Below are some of the factors you need to understand before you give.
Giving is a lifestyle
It is funny when some people only give during festive seasons; they can only give thoughtful gifts when it is Christmas or some other fun holidays. The truth is, as a child God giving is your lifestyle; a selfless act to humanity. Christian giving is not optional; you cannot be a Christian at the same time selfish. If you are selfish, then God’s love is not in you. 1 John 4:20 “If a man say, I love God, and then hates his brother he is a liar: for he that loves not his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God he love God who he has not seen?”
Give for the right reasons
Matthew 6:1 “Take heed that you do not give alms before men, to be seen of them; otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven.” We leave in an era where everything can be publicized; we want to show the world what we are doing, when, and how. Are you giving for the right reason? If the pastors, members, friends, neighbors are not watching, would you still give? If there is no physical reward or praises from men would you still give? Are you giving for the right motives?
We ought to give for the glory of God and the good of His people, and not to receive high praise from men. In addition, as Christians, we need to desire His approval of our giving, instead of receiving the praise and admiration of people.
Giving is an act of worship
I Corinthians 16:2 “Upon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as God has prosper him, that there be no gatherings when I come” Paul here was emphasizing on worship offering in church; our offerings in church is as important as our praises or worship songs in church. The church is not ripping you off when they preach or encourage you to give your offerings; it is part of our regular Lord’s Day worship.
Give according to your means
“You cannot give what you do not have” 2 Corinthians 8:12 “For if there first be a willing mind, it is accepted according to that a man hath, and not according to that he hath not.” Do not let any man put you under duress; give according to your means, but with a willing mind. The Lord never asks us to give what we do not have, or contribute beyond our means. Are you giving as you ought?
2 Corinthians 9:7 “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion.” There is no point giving at all if you are not cheerful about it; God loves cheerful givers. He willingly gave up His only Son for us to be saved. However, this does not contradict the first point about giving (giving is our lifestyle). Yes, you need to give, but not grudgingly. When you realize that the Lord has given you much, so that you can give much, giving will become easier for you.
2 Corinthians 9:6 “Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” Are you giving cheerfully?
Encourage Yourself: In conclusion, we have not come close to reaching our potential for giving. However, we need the giving grace (some Christians, no matter how wealthy they are do not know how to give. You need the Holy Spirit to help you see reasons to give as Jesus Christ did.