How To Give (Pt. 1)

Giving is such an essential part of human existence and life in this world. Someone once said: “Giving is essential to self-respect. To be in a situation where you can only receive, [and] not give, is to lack human dignity” (Rabbi Jonathan Sacks).

In giving, one transfers possession of something abstract, or concrete (tangible) to another. Giving is in its purest sense, an expression of love. The purpose of giving is to improve the lives of others.

God’s Word has much to say about giving because of its indispensability and the vital role it plays in human existence.  In this article, I wish to highlight a few God-thoughts on ‘How To Give’. The attitude, disposition, preparation and motives culminating in our eventual release of our substance to others is of great importance to God.

God doesn’t just want us to give. He wants us to ‘give well’. To ‘give well’ is to give with a right attitude, disposition and with pure motives.

 

Conditions for Giving Well

Apostle Paul wrote a letter to a group of people who were eager to help others by their giving. With his words (in 2 Corinthians Ch. 9, vs 1-15), I would highlight the conditions for giving well:

“There is no need for me to write to you about this service to the Lord’s people. For I know your eagerness to help, and I have been boasting about it to the Macedonians, telling them that since last year you in Achaia were ready to give; and your enthusiasm has stirred most of them to action. But I am sending the brothers in order that our boasting about you in this matter should not prove hollow, but that you may be ready, as I said you would be. For if any Macedonians come with me and find you unprepared, we—not to say anything about you—would be ashamed of having been so confident. So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given. Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!”

 1. Give willingly

This is the definition of generosity. The dictionary definition of generosity is: “The trait of being willing to give your money [or possessions] or time (WordWeb). The attitude of your heart at the time of giving should be willing, that is unforced or uncoerced.

2. Give with readiness and eagerness to promote the cause for which you are giving.

Commendable giving is carried out with an eagerness to help. Paul’s audience were clearly eager to help other believers. Paul states explicitly concerning them: “For I know your eagerness to help…”.

3. Plan your giving in advance.

Planning your giving in advance is a prerequisite for generous giving.

4. Prepare in advance for acts of generosity.

Without preparation to give, giving is prone to be carried out grudgingly. Depending on what you intend to give and the size or monetary value of what you intend to give, you may need to prepare for days, weeks, months or years. This will help you make all the needed arrangements so you won’t be forced or hurried at the last minute.

5. Give generously

a) A generous person gives more of something than is usual or expected.

b) A generous person is friendly, helpful and willing to see blessings come to someone or something.

c) A generous amount of something is much larger than is usual or expected.

6. Give as you have purposed in your heart and mind to give.

“Let each one [give] as he has made up his own mind and purposed in his heart, not reluctantly or sorrowfully or under compulsion…” (2 Corinthians 9:7 AMP) 

7. Give cheerfully.

“…God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving].” (2 Corinthians 9:7 AMP) 

8. Give joyously.

“…God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving].” (2 Corinthians 9:7 AMP) 

9. Give promptly.

“…God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving].” (2 Corinthians 9:7 AMP) 

10. Let your heart be in your giving.

“…God loves (He takes pleasure in, prizes above other things, and is unwilling to abandon or to do without) a cheerful (joyous, “prompt to do it”) giver [whose heart is in his giving].” (2 Corinthians 9:7 AMP) 

 

Profiting From God’s Word

“For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them…” (Hebrews 4:2)

God sends us His Word so that we may profit from it.

However, the Word of God does not prove to be beneficial or profitable to some people.

How can we determine that the Word of God has profited the one who has heard it?


Indications That You Have Profited By Hearing The Word

a. It is useful to you: you are able to put it to use in one or more areas of your life.
b. It is beneficial to you: it produces a good or advantageous effect in your life that is soon visible to everybody.
“Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all” (1Timothy 4:15)
c. It gives you an advantage: it places you in a more superior or favourable position in life relative to those who have neither heard nor applied the principles of the Word.
d. It makes you a better person than you were before you heard the Word.
e. It makes you prevail: you are made stronger and endowed with greater influence and power to deal with the circumstances of life.
f. It improves your life.
g. It makes you more courageous and daring.

Becoming a Hearer Who Benefits from God’s Word

“Practice these things. Devote your life to them so that everyone can see your progress” (1Timothy 4:15 GW)

We must determine in our hearts to be hearers who profit from the Word of God. The primary key to benefitting from God’s Word is ‘mixing God’s Word with faith.’ When the Word is mixed with faith in you, a conviction is developed in your heart. You begin to have firmly held beliefs that are in line with what God’s Word says. You cannot be swayed to believe anything contrary to what the Word says. This ‘mixing’ process involves two things;

1. Allowing the Word of God to persuade you.

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us…” (1John 4:16)

“And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform” (Romans 4:21)

“…they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of unbelief [unpersuadeableness]” (Hebrews 4:6)

Even though some people get to know the Word they do not believe it. Some people are simply not persuaded by God’s Word. Abraham developed his persuasion over a period of time until he was fully persuaded. However, the children of Israel could not enter the promised land because of ‘unpersuadeableness.’ Work on your persuasion in God’s Word. Keep bombarding your mind with God’s Word until you become fully persuaded. Let your mindset be programmed by God’s Word.

“Let every man be fully persuaded in his own mind” (Romans 14:5)

2. Backing your hearing with corresponding action.

“But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed” (James 1:25)

“…Give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all” (1Timothy 4:15)

This is the key to making you faith work. Aligning your actions with the Word of God. This is what makes your faith alive and effective. When you back you hearing with corresponding action, your circumstances begin to change; because you have given yourself wholly to living out the Word. When your actions correspond to the declarations of the Word, your progress begins to spread abroad; you begin to shine! The benefit of God’s Word in your life is now externally visible!!