What Does The Bible Say About Generosity?

At Bright Hope, we know you want to engage your generosity and help the world’s poorest families leave behind hunger, fear, and isolation.  To do that, these families need a reliable way to put food on the table, pay for their kids’ education, and follow a path out of poverty. The problem is, the generational cycle of poverty is hard to break –impoverished kids often go to bed with hungry stomachs, don’t have a chance to go to school or gain skills for the future, and can’t go to the doctor when they get sick. They feel hopeless and forgotten by God. What does the Bible say about generosity?

We believe that human beings shouldn’t have to live like this. Honestly, it’s just not right. We’re all made in the image of God, dearly loved, and with inherent worth. Throughout the Bible, God commands us to care for the poor. We have a choice: will we obey, or not? 

God’s Generosity Toward the Poor: Deuteronomy 15:7-11  

Take some time to read Deuteronomy 15:7-11.

“If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be. Take care lest there be an unworthy thought in your heart and you say, ‘The seventh year, the year of release is near,’ and your eye look grudgingly[a] on your poor brother, and you give him nothing, and he cry to the Lord against you, and you be guilty of sin. 10 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. 11 For there will never cease to be poor in the land. Therefore I command you, ‘You shall open wide your hand to your brother, to the needy and to the poor, in your land.’

This passage from Deuteronomy 15 can be a game changer for how to give to the poor. Check out these five major points to note about these verses. 

  1. Common misinterpretation: Unfortunately, some people use the opening verse as an excuse to only give to those who are your “brothers” and from “your town.” But God doesn’t want you to only help poor believers in your local vicinity. Scripture clearly points to helping non-believers. For example, think of the Good Samaritan and Paul’s collecting of offerings for overseas needs. 
  2. Open your hand: Next, verse eight should help us exercise self-reflection. Is my hand closed, or even partially clenched to responding to the needs of the poor? God repeats Himself in verse 11 to add extra emphasis and instruction. He commands, “open WIDE your hand.”  
  3. Lend for his need, whatever it may be: This phrase, also in verse eight, helps us realize we should give not for our sake but for “his need.” When I give, I often consider only my own financial position. But this reflects a closed fist or a grudging heart. God instructs us to think more about others’ needs than my circumstances. 
  4. The heart could be guilty of sin: In verse nine, it’s an “unworthy thought” to justify not giving to the poor. And this mindset can harden our hearts. Pray that we might give freely and not begrudgingly. Truly, we should avoid finding excuses or loopholes to delay or deny the poor.   
  5. Abounding in blessing: By giving to the poor the Lord says in verse 10, “the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in all that you undertake.” Consequently, this amazing promise follows our act of generosity. Truly, God will notice and responded with blessing. 

Engage your Generosity

In conclusion, we can sum up this passage from scripture by saying, “To whom much is given, much will be required…and many good things will happen.”    

Join us in providing nourishment for today, sustainable opportunities for tomorrow, and eternal Hope for the future.

C.H. Dyer
C.H. Dyer

Hi, I am C.H. Dyer. I have a passion for helping those living in extreme poverty and a knack for getting people engaged with the poor. I believe if you are faithful and generous with what you have, God will transform you and your family’s hearts and minds, just as your gifts can bring physical transformation to the poor. My angel wife, Anne, and three kids are my inspiration. And I also happen to have been leading Bright Hope for the past two decades.