I know what it is like to give. I learned to be a giver by watching my parents for years. I also remember being the recipient of others who were givers. I also learned a lot about giving from the Word of God. Jesus teaching about giving and what a blessing it is to give. Luke quotes Paul, who says it well in Acts 20:35 (NLT):
And I have been a constant example of how you can help those in need by working hard. You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Giving is an opportunity to bless someone else. I love this time of year, as Christmas nears, so many people reach deep inside their hearts to give and bless other by their generosity. I especially love anonymous giving. The other person doesn’t know who gave, but I receive a blessing anyway because I didn’t give to get the credit. I gave to bless someone else.
Jesus was teaching His disciples about giving and he pointed out a real live situation where giving was sacrificial and generous. Check this out…
1While Jesus was in the Temple, he watched the rich people dropping their gifts in the collection box. 2 Then a poor widow came by and dropped in two small coins.
3 “I tell you the truth,” Jesus said, “this poor widow has given more than all the rest of them. 4 For they have given a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she has.” (Luke 21:1-4 NLT)
I recently heard a descriptive phrase of giving that resonated with me. The phrase worth remembering is: equal sacrifice NOT equal giving. Our church just recently had an unbelievable response to a giving challenge. Our attendance is just over 1000 people. Our offering goal was half a million dollars! We were challenged with equal sacrifice NOT equal giving. We have people from every part of the socio-economic scale. We have very poor people and we have wealthy people who attend. Our offering came in around $525,000!! Jesus was teaching His disciple about equal sacrifice by observation of this widow who gave out of her poverty and struggle instead of giving from the surplus.
I’m learning that I can’t possibly out-give God. He gave His One and only Son so that we could have an abundant life here on earth as well as eternal life after this life. When I give, I’m being like God. God is a giver and He calls me to be a giver. It’s not an “amount thing” – it’s about sacrifice and generosity.
Our wealth is relative. I know people who have way more money and material possessions than I have, but they are poor. I know people who have way less money and possession than me who are very rich. I believe giving can make me rich in spiritual values. God loves givers because He is the Ultimate Giver.