Compassion have asked the question this week: What does it look like to give Biblically in today’s culture? What comes to your mind when you put the Bible and giving in the same sentence? If you’re a Christian, maybe you think of tithing – giving 10% of your income to God for the upkeep of churches, so they’ll carry on being able to share the good news of His love with the world around them. That was one of my first thoughts, along-with this verse: “God loves a cheerful giver” – 2 Corinthians 9:7. I think that’s a great verse, because it reminds me what’s most important to God – not our money, but our hearts. Remember the rich person who gave a bit of his wealth, and the poor widow who gave all she had to live on? That’s what impressed Jesus – that she was willing to give all she had, to make herself totally dependent on God.
When I think of people in the Bible and their giving, it inspires me. Just look at Esther – how she laid her life on the line to save her people: “If I perish, I perish” – Esther 4:16. Or David, saying goodbye to his friend Jonathan: “Then they kissed each other and wept together – but David wept the most” – 1 Samuel 20:41. Or think of Jesus, sweating drops of blood at Gethsemane, or on the cross: “Into Your hands I commit My spirit.” All these people gave their everything (in Jesus’ case, even to His last ounce of strength). Although Esther could have been discouraged, David could have been distant, and Jesus could have prayed to His Father for angels to rescue Him, they were determined. Once their minds were made up, there was no hint of them withholding anything of themselves.
When I write to my sponsored children, I tell them about some of the problems we have here in the UK. If you’ve got a family-member who doesn’t know Jesus, and it makes you sad because you wish they had a Friend to turn to, why not tell your sponsored child and ask them to pray? How can we expect people to open up and share about their lives if we’re holding back from talking about ours? Let’s give freely, regardless of their response.
Or are you looking for a fun way of giving? I read somebody else’s blog about gifts to Jesus at Christmas, but I know Christmas can be a difficult time of year, so if your heart’s not in it, please don’t click on this link. But if you think you’ve never given a tangible gift to Jesus at Christmas-time before and you’d really like to, Compassion’s gift catalogue would be the place to choose one. God certainly has a heart for the poor, so anytime you help a child or family in poverty, you’re doing it for Him.
Giving is cheerful and free. Are you giving that way – to God and to others?