Archives For giving

       The Christian Financial Alliance was created to help readers. The idea is this: Create a panel of biblical finance gurus. People who take seriously the call to teach the Bible accurately with grace and truth. Once a month, we post a question with a response from our panel to provide you with well-rounded, sound, biblical advice. For more on the Christian Financial Alliance (or to join our team) click here.

In your own words, define biblical generosity.

       “Biblical generosity is giving that is a result of a transformed heart. We give because God loved us first and because we long to love, live and give as He did. We want to grab hold of the abundant life in Christ – of which giving is an important part. We are told by Jesus himself that “it is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). By giving we are also able to help release the hold that money can create on our hearts. “Instruct those who are rich in this present world…to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share…so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19) We are told that our heart can’t serve two masters, and by being generous with what God has given us we’re able to release it’s hold on our lives and truly serve Him. “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) To me giving generously in a biblical manner leads to happiness, fulfillment and to loving others as Christ first loved us.” – BibleMoneyMatters.com

       “Loving your neighbor by using money to make his life better in some way.” – FreeMoneyFinance.com

       “Generosity, in my own words, is being spirit led for giving decisions. If we feel that God is leading us to be generous in a certain way with our money, we should act on this in faith. This requires us to not be overly attached to money, but always remaining open to God’s plan. After all, we’re called to manage it for him. The best way to release the hold on money is to stretch your faith and give to God first out of every paycheck.” – OneMoneyDesign.com

       “Biblical generosity is fueled by a passion for sharing God’s love with the world. It’s about realizing the great gift we’ve received from God through Jesus Christ and desiring to pass that gift on to others (in a variety of ways – not just money). It’s cheerful, freewill, and sacrificial and is motivated purely by love.” – ProvidentPlan.com

       “Biblical generosity is extending the goodness of God and grace of Jesus Christ to the world by living a life of pouring out–of putting the needs of others above ourselves.” – DollarsandDoctrine.com

       “Biblical generosity is seeking first the kingdom of God. It is accepting and adopting a new mind with which we evaluate what makes sense and what is a good financial decision. It is the desire to love God and others – even when others can’t understand those choices. Biblical generosity means acknowledging the blessings of God in our lives and giving him full ownership over everything we have.” – MoneyHelpForChristians.com

       “It blesses God when we are generous. It’s an act of worship; it’s a way we can show love to others; it develops character within the giver. When we give freely, we can experience the joy that comes from it and be blessed in our own life as we bless others.”-FaithandFinance.com

       “To me, there is one very straightforward passage in scripture that tells us what Biblical generosity looks like, those verses are found in Luke 10:25-37. It’s the story of a Samaritan (who was hated by the Jews), stopping alongside the road, and helping and providing for a Jew, someone that socially despised him. This is the present day equivalent of a well known political nemesis, the star player on a sports team that just beat your team, or someone from a different religion as you. And what Jesus is asking you to do is this, stop what your doing, help them out, and provide for their needs. There is only one way that we are able to meet the scriptural example of being generous. We must love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:31), and we must be willing to love our enemies (Matthew 5:44). If our life, not just our answer, looks like this, then I think we are living a Biblically generous lifestyle.” – DiscipleshipGuy.com

For more on the Christian Financial Alliance (or to join our team) click here.

       Readers, how would you define Biblical generosity? Let me know in the comments!

Redefining Riches       My friend Rob Kuban at Dollars and Doctrine has recently released a four lesson Sunday school series called Redefining Riches. I’ve had the chance to review it and I can tell you it’s an excellent introductory course to the core principles of a Biblical approach to finances. If you’re looking for something related to finances to do in your Sunday school class or small group, I highly recommend this as a starting place. (I’m not getting paid to say this, and I don’t earn anything if you buy it. I just believe Rob’s put together a great resource with a heart for helping people understand Biblical truths about God’s desires for our finances.) It’s only $3.99 for all four lessons, which includes PowerPoint slides, leader’s guides, and handouts. You can print as many copies as you need for your group, so it’s a great deal.

       Today’s post is from the content in the lesson on generosity, which I’ve reprinted with Rob’s permission. I’m not devaluing Rob’s work because the value of buying Redefining Riches is in having the lessons already prepared for you along with the PowerPoint slides. You’ll get a good idea of the content by reading the excerpts I’ll share, but you’re still missing out on some additional content Rob includes as well as the leader’s guides and handouts.

Generosity: A Labor of Love

       Generosity is the result of a transformed heart.

       “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)

       God loves a cheerful giver and if we let Him, He will cultivate a joy in generosity within our own hearts. This is how we learn to give with pure motives and pure hearts. We are wasting our money and embittering our hearts when we give out of guilt or obligation. As we allow Christ to transform our hearts, we joyfully give first, proportionally, secretly and sacrificially. (See Also: Proverbs 3:9-10, 1 Chronicles 29:5-9, Acts 11:29)

       Generosity is a lifestyle of giving and loving fully.

       “Remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He Himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” (Acts 20:35)

       The call to generosity is hardly limited to the offering plate. We are called to be generous people. We should gladly choose to be generous with our money, time, energy, talents, gifts, and on, and on. Generosity, when understood Biblically, is a way of life. (See Also: Galatians 1:3-4, John 15:13)

       Generosity is a spring of life to those who give Biblically.

       “Instruct those who are rich in this present world…to do good, to be rich in good works, to be generous and ready to share…so that they may take hold of that which is life indeed.” (1 Timothy 6:17-19)

       The Bible teaches that it is better to give than to receive. We are told that generosity is one component of taking hold of “that which is life indeed”. When we give, we live as Christ calls and love others well. When we withhold, we follow the world’s idolization of consumption and love ourselves well. (See Also: Luke 6:38, Philippians 4:17, Proverbs 11:25, Proverbs 22:9, Proverbs 28:27)

Bible with Cross Shadow by knowhimonline on Flickr       Today’s Personal Finance Bible Scripture comes from Luke 6:30.

       30Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back.

Luke 6:30 (NLT)

This passage is also found in Matthew 5:42.

       Jesus tells us to give to anyone who asks of us. The Amplified Bible further clarifies this as those who are in want of necessities. I’m not sure He meant for us to give money to an investment banker who is worth a few million just because he asks. But to anyone who is in need, we are to give—generously, freely, and without condition.

       The second part of this verse would have meant more to the Jews at that time. Romans could demand just about anything they wanted from the Jews and there was no legal recourse. Jesus tells His followers that if someones takes away their possessions they are not to demand them back. I don’t know about you, but that would be so far beyond my human nature that I know I couldn’t do it without God working through me.

       Jesus’ point here is very clear. We should be generous in our giving and in our forgiving. Living out extraordinary generosity in our lives is a huge testament to the faith and an excellent example for all.