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Thoughts on Giving

When thinking about giving, we must remember it is both an important spiritual grace and spiritual discipline. The desire and ability to use the resources entrusted to us for the advancement of His kingdom is a gift from God. In ways beyond all human understanding, God takes our gifts, multiplies them, uses them, and repays the giver with blessing. We are made to live as ambassadors in this world living in a way that reflects our citizenship in the kingdom of heaven.

Stewardship is not only a grace, but also a spiritual discipline. Just like praying, studying Scripture, and going to church, our giving impacts our relationship with Jesus. God uses our giving to stretch our faith. When we consider God alone is our provider who has given the inde­scribable gift of His Son, we are encour­aged to trust Him with everything we have. Stewarding our income, bank account, investments, time, and talents is an act of worship. 

This is Paul’s whole point in 2 Corin­thians 8 and 9. After encouraging the church to give generously in the face of trial and poverty in chapter 8, Paul explains the purpose and benefits of a cheerful giver.

“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way to be gener­ous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only sup­plying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God” (2 Corinthians 9:10-12). 

God’s resources are never limited. He gives us all we need and all He wants us to have, but we must give it away in or­der to gain it. As we become involved in God’s global outreach, our own worlds expand, and we are enriched. 

As Americans living in one of the rich­est countries in the world, we battle a materialistic mindset. During uncertain financial times, we are tempted to fear­fully hoard our wealth. Yet an obsession with material riches leads to poverty in the experience of God. 

Giving is an important part of living a holy and happy life. Scripture teaches these two things always go together. It is not surprising countless studies show that people who are benevolent are happier than people who are not. The “harvest of righteousness” that comes from undergirding God’s servants far exceeds the cost. Nothing compares to the joy of giving to the One who gave us everything. 

Paul Kooistra is a former coordinator of MTW and author of several devotionals.

Paul Kooistra, Reflection Aug 25, 2022
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