Why We Give
All shall give as they are able, according to the blessing of the Lord your God
which He has given you.
The stewardship of our finances is a tremendous—and often overlooked—area of our lives where we can faithfully proclaim the gospel. In an age when there is great competition for our giving dollars, is there anything unique or distinctive about giving to one’s church? Here are the compelling reasons why and how we give to God.
1. We Give Because God Has So Willingly Given to Us
God has given us the earth, resources to meet our needs, and most of all, forgiveness through Jesus Christ. The apostle Paul writes to the Corinthians: “And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.” (2 Cor. 9:8). Our giving is, first and foremost, a response to God lavishly giving to us.
2. We Give First to God
When we systematically give to the Lord first, God is honored and we are spiritually blessed. This second principle underlines our belief that how we give is crucially important: God’s people have always given their “first fruits” to the Lord…not what was convenient or left over.
3. We Give Cheerfully
God loves and blesses a cheerful giver. Paul writes: “Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor. 9:7) Responding to God’s grace is the only motive powerful enough to keep us joyful in our giving. If we give out of guilt or coercion, it will surely be grudgingly. But if we give out of gratitude, it will be cheerful.
4. We Give Proportionately
The tithe (10%) is our guideline; sacrificial giving is our goal; the measure we give determines the measure God gives to us. Again Paul writes to the Corinthians: “Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.”(2 Cor. 9:6) If we give generously, we will reap generously, and vice versa—this is not marketing or manipulation, it’s simply how God works. Faithful giving begins with honestly asking God to lead us. For some, giving 5% of our income might be a real sacrifice; for others, a genuine sacrifice will be more than 10%. The key is to choose a percentage prayerfully, then increase it year by year. We cannot out-give God!