Giving should be cause for joy for all believers, but many people become defensive or give excuses when asked to give or avoid the subject altogether. Here are 10 biblical reasons we should give with full and joyful hearts.
#1 God loves it when we give
2 Corinthians 9:7 says…
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
There are numerous places in Scripture where giving is commanded, and generous giving was actually written into the early law of the Hebrews. However, the reasons for giving were not arbitrary: the Israelites were commanded to give out of gratitude for God’s provision.
In the New Testament, the church was instructed to give with that same joy. There are biblical precedents and legitimate arguments for structured giving (like tithing), but at its core, our giving should come from a joyful heart that recognizes God as the One Who first gave us so much. That joy should permeate our every gift.
#2 We should give expecting God to provide
Jesus says in Luke 6:38…
“Give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
This statement of Jesus is not an endorsement of the prosperity gospel, which teaches that doing good for others will automatically result in tangible blessings from God. However, Jesus does say that our giving to others will be answered with God’s abundant provision. It may not translate directly into dollar signs, but our blessing for faithful obedience to God will always be greater than we could ask or imagine.
#3 Our giving is to be considered a worthy sacrifice to God
Romans 12:1 says…
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.”
Giving is not limited to our money or our possessions. We are to give our very bodies and lives in worship to God. Because Christ’s sacrifice on the cross saved us and brought us back into a right relationship with God, we should be overjoyed to return our lives to His service. This is the truest form of worship, and giving of our time and energies is equally as beneficial to those around us as writing a check.
#4 The heart of the giver can matter more than the size of the gift
Luke 21:1-4 says…
“Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and He saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And He said, ‘Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.’”
Jesus recognized that the woman’s gift, though small in amount, was great in faith. She gave a greater proportion of her income than the rich Pharisees, and her gift was considered acceptable to the Son of God.
Jesus talked more about money than He did about any other topic during His recorded ministry. This was, not surprisingly, because the culture He lived in was so preoccupied with giving only when it looked good to others, or when the gift was large enough to be worthy of recognition. We face similar pressures today.
#5 Be content with the basics, give away the rest
1 Timothy 6:8 says…
“But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.”
This can help us learn the right way to look at our finances. If our basic needs are covered, and we have the ability to give out of our relative abundance, we should be content that God has provided and be the mechanism by which others can have their own needs met.
God wants to use us to bless others. If we have extra funds available and would ordinarily only use them on ourselves, we should consider ways to use that money as an offering to God through the church or some other charitable group.
#6 Our giving can be a measurement of our faith
Malachi 3:10 says…
“Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house. And thereby put Me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need.”
Some people hold back from giving when things get tough: your raise didn’t come through, or you lost your job completely. According to the wisdom of the world, it would certainly make sense to stop tithing or giving to the church and save as much money as possible to take care of our families.
We should certainly be responsible stewards of what God has given us, but that must first mean that we return a portion back to God through our giving. God will see our faith in tithing and giving, and answer our trust in His ability to provide abundant blessings.
There are so many stories of people going through hardship that still tithe and serve others with their money, and their needs are more than met. Rather than simply relying on yourself, trust that God will take care of you in every way – and when He does, you can acknowledge Him with confidence and peace.
#7 Giving is an outward sign of our love for others
1 John 3:17 says…
“But if anyone has the world’s goods and sees his brother in need, yet closes his heart against him, how does God’s love abide in him?”
This is a straightforward and honest assessment of those who claim to love others but do not do what they can to help them. There are no specific conditions or stipulations laid down here, simply a matter of the heart.
If you know of someone in need but refuse to help them even though you are more than capable of doing so, that is an act of selfishness. You may not be able to do much, but even the little you have can be an enormous blessing to others and a tremendous witness for the Gospel.
#8 Our giving allows us to serve God better
2 Corinthians 9:8 says…
“And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”
The apostle Paul follows us his statement that “God loves a cheerful giver” with a promise that is made to all givers. God will graciously provide us everything we need, not simply so that we are content with our material comforts, but that we are further equipped to do even more good works.
Our gifts and our blessings are not meant to be hoarded and kept away from others. We have been given much so that we can give much away. That is the spirit of God’s giving to us, and that is how we should freely give to others.
#9 Our giving should be rooted in love
1 Corinthians 13:3 says…
“If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.”
This verse helps to open the famous “love chapter” of the Bible in 1 Corinthians. Buried in this passage, however, is an important lesson about giving.
God loves a cheerful giver, not one who gives but doesn’t care how or why they give. We can give away all we own, and even give up our very lives; but if love is not our primary motivation for giving, it is an empty gift. Whoever you choose to give to, be sure that love is behind our every gift.
#10 Greed can lead to our downfall
Proverbs 28:27 says…
“Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse.”
Taken on its own, this can seem like a harsh indictment toward possessions of any kind. However, it is important to recognize that the problem is turning away from those in need.
If we give freely we are blessed by God – if not in material blessings returned to us, then through God’s love being shined out through our lives. However, if we turn a blind eye to the needs of others, we are in essence denying our responsibility to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this world.
We are called to be responsible stewards of the money and possessions that God has given us, but we are also commanded to be joyously generous. The next time you have the opportunity to give, do so with a full and open heart, seeing the God of love and provision behind your gift.
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Natalie Regoli is a child of God, devoted wife, and mother of two boys. She has a Master's Degree in Law from The University of Texas. Natalie has been published in several national journals and has been practicing law for 18 years.