I was babysitting for my aunt and uncle one night, and I knew they were going to pay me. They asked me to babysit, and they always do. Plain and simple. But that was the problem. I felt guilty about accepting the money, and wrestled with it the whole time. You see, they were hosting a boy from the Ukraine for the summer, and he was arriving the next week. Every penny counted. I knew that they could use that babysitting money towards food, clothes, and countless other things. But when the time came for them to give me the money, I accepted it.
I totally regretted it, and ended up mailing the money back to them. But rightfully, that money was mine. I worked hard babysitting 3 kids, and gave up my time. So why did I give it back? Why did I feel I needed to give it back? I believe there are 2 main reasons why we, as Christians, should give generously, whether that be with our money, time, resources, etc. I wanted to address them as we enter the holiday season of giving!
Why to Give Generously
1. Jesus Gave Sacrificially
What if Jesus was just like “Nah, I’m not going to die. These sinful people don’t deserve it, and this life is rightfully mine. I mean, I’m perfect, and they’re not.” This life would be a whole other ball game. We wouldn’t have hope, and we’d all be trying to measure up to a level of perfection we couldn’t obtain. But He did die for us. He gave up His throne in Heaven, came to this sinful earth, and surrendered His earthly life. That’s sacrificial love. I think that if Jesus can give sacrificially with His life, we can give sacrificially of the things He has blessed us with.
2. We are Blessed
God has blessed us immensely. Not only with money and material things, but with love, spiritual gifts, and time. I think we should share those blessings with others whenever we can. Generously. God generously loves and has blessed us with eternal life. He doesn’t hold anything back and gives us the best of Him. Why don’t we give the best of what we have to others? I challenge you to rethink this! God blesses us so that we can bless others.
3 Ways to Give Generously
1. From the Heart
How many times have you just pulled out your wallet to give because you felt obligated? Usually you aren’t giving from the heart in those situations. I think it is important to give from the heart. I mean, God looks to the heart for our motives, doesn’t He? Sometimes it’s just better to pray about it than to just give. It’s not about how much you give, but about your heart. You need to be giving for the right reasons (Proverbs 16:2).
Have you ever known somebody that gave just because they were going to get something out of it? You know, one of those marketing incentives? Or maybe somebody didn’t give because they weren’t going to get anything out of it? I believe both reasons are wrong. You should give expecting nothing in return (Luke 6:35).
And once again, I’m going to have you picture a scenario 😉 Have you ever not given because you weren’t sure if you would be able to pay all of the bills at the end of the month? I believe in smart giving, but I also believe that if God has called you to give, you need to do so no matter what. He will provide for you. Read more on fearless giving here.
Giving is not all about money, though. It is also very important to give of our time and talents! Instead of always handing somebody a spoon and allowing them to feed themselves, you could pick up a ladle and serve them. I completely understand that sometimes its not in God’s will or the budget to give money, but you can volunteer to help serve others! In fact, I think it’s just as important, if not more, to give of our time and talents sometimes. Pray for discernment!
So what do you think about all of this? Is it exactly your opinion, or do you need to think about it all? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments! I wanted to end with two great, short and sweet, quotes on giving!
“It’s not what you give, but how you give.”
“No one has ever become poor by giving.”