The Bible still remains the omniscient book that deals with every issue of life. It talks about friendship, marriage, debts, love, lust, accounting, kindness, etc. In fact, I doubt if there is any issue of life that has not been dealt with in the Bible. And now, we would be going through what the Bible says about giving.
The act of giving has to do with bestowing what you have on another person, helping or imparting someone with your possessions.
“Possessions” here do not only refer to material things, but also points to your talents, skills, words of advice or encouragement, time, etc.
In the Bible, certain incidents occurred that teach us on the act of giving. Some provide principles to be followed, others enlighten us on the reward of giving especially when it is done out of a generous heart.
Deuteronomy 15: 7-10
If there be among you a poor man of one of thy brethren within any of thy gates in thy land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not harden thine heart, nor shut thine hand from thy poor brother:
But thou shalt open thine hand wide unto him, and shalt surely lend him sufficient for his need, in that which he wanteth.
Beware that there be not a thought in thy wicked heart, saying, The seventh year, the year of release, is at hand; and thine eye be evil against thy poor brother, and thou givest him nought; and he cry unto the LORD against thee, and it be sin unto thee.
Thou shalt surely give him, and thine heart shall not be grieved when thou givest unto him: because that for this thing the LORD thy God shall bless thee in all thy works, and in all that thou puttest thine hand unto.
Here, God was addressing the issue of giving among the Israelites. Now, He did not only charge them to give to their poor brethren, but He also emphasized the need to give without grudging and with a willing heart. This is to tell us that what God is really interested in is the motive behind our giving. He expects us to give sacrificially as an act of kindness and not to oppress or mock the poor.
Another principle which the Bible provides on the act of giving is derived from the story of Prophet Elijah and the widow of Zarephath.
1 Kings 17:10-16
So he arose and went to Zarephath. And when he came to the gate of the city, behold, the widow woman was there gathering of sticks: and he called to her, and said, Fetch me, I pray thee, a little water in a vessel, that I may drink.
And as she was going to fetch it, he called to her, and said, Bring me, I pray thee, a morsel of bread in thine hand.
And she said, As the LORD thy God liveth, I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel, and a little oil in a cruse: and, behold, I am gathering two sticks, that I may go in and dress it for me and my son, that we may eat it, and die.
And Elijah said unto her, Fear not; go and do as thou hast said: but make me thereof a little cake first, and bring it unto me, and after make for thee and for thy son.
For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail, until the day that the LORD sendeth rain upon the earth.
And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days.
And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.
In this story, we are encouraged to give even out of the little we have. This woman as a widow had no one to help her, but in obedience to God’s instruction, she gave out the little she possessed and was blessed beyond her imagination. Her needs were continually supplied till the end of the famine in the land at the time.
Another act of giving is expressed by David who offered his skills as a harpist to help in relieving King Saul of his madness whenever he was tormented by an evil spirit. In this act of giving, he sacrificed not only his skill, but also his time and energy.
Now, aside from giving out from a generous heart, it is also important to give out good things. Do not say because you are willing to give out shoes, then you give out bad ones.
The quality of your gifts should not be poor; do to others as you want to be done to you.
God loves a cheerful giver and He is ever ready to reward sacrificial giving. Give out to people out of a grateful heart because what you have was also given to you by God.
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully.
Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.
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