The Truth About Giving
In this tract, I will show what
the Bible says about giving of our money and of ourselves. I will also answer
the question, “Why doesn’t the
When a preacher starts talking about giving, some people think he just wants more money. I can understand why people think this way because when they watch religions programs on TBN and other church channels, they are constantly pleading with you to send them more money. They claim whatever you send them, God will give you back tenfold or more. No wonder many have negative thoughts when a preacher starts talking about giving. Don’t worry, you won’t find any pleas for money or false promise in this tract. All I want to share with is what God’s Word says about giving and that’s all. First, I want to show you that giving is a part of our worship to God.
1 Corinthians 16:1 Now concerning the
collection for the saints: as I directed the churches of
The apostle Paul is
commanding every Christian to give of on the first day of every week. The ESV, NIV and NASV capture the true
meaning of this passage because the phrase “first day of every week” is there
in the Greek, but for whatever reason, some Bible versions leave this word out.
This same Greek word is used in Acts 20:7, which teaches us when we are to
partake of the Lord’s Supper. So, this shows us that we are to give and partake
of the Lord’s Supper on the first day of every week. Now someone might
say that he was just talking about the church at
Paul tells the Corinthians that, “Each of them is to put something aside and store
it up, as he may prosper (1 Cor. 16:2).” He also says, “So let each one give
as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves
a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7).”
Do you see what Paul is
saying? He is saying that you are supposed to put some thought into what you
are going to give. This means, we should decide beforehand how much money we
are going to give to God each week. That is what is meant by giving as you
purpose in your heart. This means giving is more than just dropping money into
the collection plate. So, if we come to church and open our wallets or purse to
see what we have leftover to give to God, then we are not giving as God has
commanded. We are just giving God our leftovers.
This is what they did
during Malachi’s time. In Malachi chapter one, we learn that the children of
2 Corinthians 9:5
Therefore I thought it necessary to exhort the brethren to go to you ahead of
time, and prepare your generous gift beforehand, which you had previously
promised, that it may be ready as a matter of generosity and not as a
grudging obligation. 6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap
sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.
This is not teaching if
you give 100 dollars God will give you back 10 or 100 fold as some teach
because giving to God is not a get rich quick scheme. However, some may be
blessed with more money, but many times, we reap the benefits of giving in many
other ways. So, sometimes we might reap monetarily, while other times, we may
reap spiritually. We also need to keep in mind what Jesus said, “It is more
blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35).”
Paul also teaches us
that we are to give as we prosper (1 Cor. 16:2). The more money we make, the
more we can give. We have an example of this in the following verse:
Acts 11:29 Then the
disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the
brethren dwelling in
Each Christian gave
according to their ability. Some could give a little, while others could give a
lot. God does not ask us to give more than we have. However, if you are
prospering right now, you should give more. Later, if you lose your job or your
income changes, then you can give less. Most likely another Christian will
start to prosper and will be able to make up the difference because it all
works out in the end.
Another thing Paul
tells us about giving “Is not to give grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves
a cheerful giver.” When we give to
God, we should not have the attitude that we have to give. Instead, we are to
give cheerfully because God loves a cheerful giver. The word “cheerful” comes
from the Greek word “hilaros”, which is where we get
our English word “hilarious” from. So, it’s almost like our giving to the Lord
should bring so much cheer to our hearts that we feel like laughing out loud.
We have two great examples of this kind of cheerful giving in scripture. Our
first example comes from:
Luke 21:1 And He
looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, 2 and He
saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. 3 So He said, "Truly I say to
you that this poor widow has put in more than all; 4 "for all these out
of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty
put in all the livelihood that she had."
These rich Jews were
just giving from their abundance and were not giving from their heart. However,
this poor widow, who only had two small copper coins, gave all that she had to
the Lord. As Jesus watched this, He teaches us that she gave more than these
rich Jews because she gave from her poverty. You can see that she gave from her
heart and did it cheerfully because she did not complain.
Our second example
2 Corinthians 8:1
Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the
churches of Macedonia: 2 that
in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep
poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality. 3 For I
bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they
were freely willing, 4 imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the
gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
This church was giving more than their ability and you don’t find
anywhere where they were complaining because they had the right attitude and
were giving from a cheerful heart. These great examples of giving should
encourage us to give with a cheerful heart and without complaining.
How much should we
give and what should be our motivation for giving?
Many in the religious world will tell that you must tithe, which means to
give 10% of your income. They get this idea from Old Testament passages such as
Deuteronomy 26:1ff and Leviticus 27:30ff. In the Old Testament, the Jews would
give a tenth of their produce and livestock to the Lord. However, in the New
Testament there is not one command that tells us to tithe. It’s important that
we understand that the New Testament is our authority today because Jesus
nailed the requirements of the Old Testament to the cross (Col. 2:14).
Therefore, we cannot bind Old Testament regulations on New Testament
Christianity. With this in mind, let me give two reasons the
1. We are not commanded
tithe in New Testament.
2. 2 Corinthians 9:7 commands
us to give what we purpose in our hearts. Now, if it the case that we are to
tithe by giving 10% of our income, then how can we give what we purpose in our
hearts if we are supposed to give 10%? That verse wouldn’t make any sense would
it? So, we don’t tithe because God commands us to give what we purpose in our
Well, this brings us back to our question, “How much should we give and
what should be our motivation for giving?” First, its important for us to
realize that we are simply stewards of what God has given us because none of
the things we have really belong to us because ultimately they belong to God (1
Cor. 10:26; 1 Tim. 6:7). Realizing
this will help us to decide how much we should give. Every Christian has to
make up their own mind on how much they can give. No one has the right to tell
you that you should give 10%, 20% or any other amount because that it between
you and God. However, I want to share with you several scriptures that will
help you decide the amount you should give.
First, let’s look at
what God gave us.
John 3:16 “For God
so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in
Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
Did God give us His
leftovers? No, He gave us His best, His only begotten Son. Jesus made it
possible for us to have salvation because we could not save ourselves. We need to
remind ourselves daily what Jesus did for us.
8:9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich,
yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become
This shows us how much
Jesus loves us because He was willing to give up His heavenly home and become
poor so we could become rich. God blesses us in many ways. He blesses us physically
by giving us the ability to enjoy our families and everything He has created
for us on this earth. However, the greatest blessing that we
receive as Christians are the spiritual ones (Eph. 1:3). So, God has
blessed us physical and spiritual. Now, the question becomes, what will you
give back to him? Only you can answer this question and decide what you will
purpose in your heart to give to God. When we think about giving, we also need
make sure that we are not covetous or greedy with our money. There are many
today that put all their worth into how much money they have instead of how
much spirituality they have. We need to remember what Jesus said in following
Matthew 6:19 "
Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy
and where thieves break in and steal; 20
"but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor
rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 "For
where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.
Do you remember the rich young ruler in Matthew 19 who came to Jesus
wanting to know what he must do? Well, Jesus named off several commands from
the Law and the rich young ruler said he had done all these commands. However,
he wanted to know what else he must do. So, Jesus said, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you
have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come,
follow Me." This made the young man sad because he was very wealthy and he went away.
This young man trusted in his riches and sold his soul to the devil because he
wasn’t willing to put God first in every area of his life. Notice what Jesus
says in following verse:
Luke 16:13 “No
servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the
other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot
serve God and mammon."
So, we need to be careful that we don’t find ourselves serving our money
instead of using our money to glorify God (1 Tim. 6:17-19).
Another important point about giving is that we should not give so others
can see how much we are giving. I have heard of people who brag about how much
they give and they make sure everyone knows it. This is no different from the
Pharisees in the first century who said long prayers and did many other things
so people would think they were so righteous and close to God. Jesus says
people like this have already received their reward from man and they will not
receive anything from God (Mat. 6:1-4). So, don’t give just to be seen by others.
Nothing I have taught
in this tract so far will ever matter unless you are willing to give yourself
Romans 12:1 I
beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your
bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your
reasonable service. 2 And do
not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your
mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect
will of God.
So, until you are
willing to give yourself to God by putting you faith and trust in Him, you will
never become the giver that you should be.
We must also learn to
give of ourselves. There are several ways we can do this. We can give of our
time, which would include time for prayer, time for study, time for teaching
Bible classes or teaching the lost. We can also help others in need by giving
to orphanages or helping our brother or sister who is in need. There are many
ways that we can give of ourselves, and I believe it is important that we look
for opportunities to serve others so we can bring glory and honor to God.
In conclusion, the
Bible says a lot about giving, and as Christians we need to pay attention to
what it says. We have seen that giving is a command and that we are to give on
the first day of every week. We are not commanded to tithe, but instead, we are
told to give what we purpose in our hearts and when we give we are to do it
cheerfully. We have also learned that we must give ourselves to God, and then
we will become the givers that we should be. So, not only are we to give of our
money and ourselves to God, we must give of ourselves.