To be generous entails more than giving an amount; it requires possessing an attitude. Learn how to be wise with what you give and how you give it.
JESUS ON GENEROSITY
Matthew 6:1–4 ESV
1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven. 2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Luke 21:1–4 ESV
1 Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, 2 and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. 3 And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. 4 For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
- How do you visualize the rich people in this narrative?
- What does the poor widow look like in your mind?
- Would Jesus have bragged on a woman that looked miserable in obedience?
Jesus recognizes the attitude more than the amount.
Biblical Principles for Giving
- List from The Money Challenge by Art Rainer
- Principle #1: Giving is to be a priority.
- Proverbs 3:9 ESV
- 9 Honor the Lord with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce;
- Principle #2: Giving is to be done proportionally.
- Numbers 18:24 ESV
- 24 For the tithe of the people of Israel, which they present as a contribution to the Lord, I have given to the Levites for an inheritance. Therefore I have said of them that they shall have no inheritance among the people of Israel.”
- Principle #3: Giving is to be done sacrificially.
- 2 Samuel 24:24 ESV
- 24 But the king said to Araunah, “No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God that cost me nothing.” So David bought the threshing floor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.
- Principles #4: Giving is to be done cheerfully.
- 2 Corinthians 9:7 ESV
- 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
- A tithe should be the floor and not the ceiling.
- If you can’t give a satisfactory amount, make a plan to get there.
- Months 1-3: Give 1% of gross income to your local church.
- Months 4-6: Give 3% of gross income to your local church.
- Months 7-9: Give 5% of gross income to your local church.
- Months 10-11: Give 7% of gross income to your local church.
- Month 12: Give 10% of gross income to your local church.
- Forward Giving: Continue to increase your generosity through the years.
Travis Agnew serves as the Lead Pastor of Rocky Creek Church in Greenville, SC. His most recent book is Just (About) Married.