Why would anyone give away money or time or work to someone else for free with no plan to get it back? That’s what the Bible means when it talks about giving: freely handing over something of value that belongs to us because we choose to do so of our own free will. By definition, giving is meant to be selfless, not an exchange of one thing for another.
It’s obvious why we resist giving in this way. Our money and time are limited. Giving any of it away means that we will have less for ourselves or our own families or for doing the things we want to do. We resist for other reasons, too. Sometimes we don’t trust that someone asking for money is being truthful. We don’t want to feel manipulated or scammed, especially in a religious setting. More honorably, we don’t want to contribute to causes we don’t believe in, and we don’t want to enable people who refuse to take care of themselves in a way that’s healthy.
For those of us who want to obey God’s Word, though, giving is not an option. It’s one part of following Jesus. The children of God imitate their Father by giving as He gives.
In the verses below, the Bible tells us to give freely to several groups. Both the Old and New Testaments command God’s people to give to meet the needs of their brothers and neighbors when they become poor and hungry. From God’s perspective, having any amount of money more than we need comes with the responsibility to meet the needs of those in the family of God who don’t have enough.
Beyond that, though, giving is one of the ways that we worship God our Father. Worship involves sacrificing our lives for God’s purposes (Romans 12:1-2), and giving sacrificially of ourselves and our money to support the mission and work of God is part of that worship.
The Bible does suggest that there is some personal benefit for those who give freely to others. God’s Word does not teach anything like the modern notion of karma, that the “universe” will give good back to us when we give it away to someone else. The Proverbs do observe, though, that the mindset of generous people tends to lead them to find more ways to make money they can give away, while the mindset of non-givers tends to result in diminishing resources for them over time.
Finally, those who would truly model themselves after Jesus are called to the most sacrificial kind of giving. He literally gave Himself away as a sacrifice for the world. It should not surprise us that He commands those who would come after Him to give sacrificially even to meet the needs of their enemies and those who don’t believe in Him.
What Does God Say About Giving? 10 Bible Verses About Giving
You shall give to him freely, and your heart shall not be grudging when you give to him, because for this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake.
Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer; another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.
If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then shall your light rise in the darkness and your gloom be as the noonday.
Whoever has two tunics is to share with him who has none, and whoever has food is to do likewise.
Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back.
2 Corinthians 8:7
Just as you excel in everything– in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us– see that you also excel in this grace of giving.
In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”
Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.
Looking for a way to give generously to those in need? Join Bright Hope in giving to help provide individuals and families with strategic initiatives to escape the cycle of extreme poverty and provide an everlasting brighter hope for tomorrow.