How Does Giving Help Us to Grow Spiritually?
“And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased” Hebrews 13:16 NIV.
Wow, does giving have anything to do with spiritual growth? What does money have to do with how we grow in the Lord? Isn’t money the root of all evil?
First, money is not evil, it’s the love of money that can become a problem. Secondly, giving is not just about our pocketbooks. We give in a lot of ways such as our time and energy,
We are told to love as Christ loves. In the verse above we see God is pleased when we give of ourselves to others. As we love others and God, we want to follow in His footsteps. That is what spiritual growth is, becoming more like Jesus Christ.
What Does God Say About Giving?
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” Proverbs 11:25 NIV.
God wants us to be His instruments to help others. Giving of ourselves is working hand in hand with God.
When we show love and help to others, we are being obedient to our Father. He rewards us for a geniune, heartfelt attitude by prospering us. This does not mean we will be rich but our needs will be met and we will be refreshed in the Lord.
“For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have” 2 Corinthians 8:12 NIV.
Tithing in the Old Testiment was about giving a tenth of resources. The New Testiment emphasizes the willingness in our giving. Some use the 10% as a guide.
What Happens When We Give Generously?
“Good will come to those who are generous and lend freely,
who conduct their affairs with justice” Psalm 112:5 NIV
The Lord will bless us when we are following His lead. It’s not always material gain. Just knowing we have expressed God’s will gives us joy.
We need to remember that giving to get something is not the right attitude. The Lord wants a willing giver to express His love to others.
What are Some Principles of Giving That Contribute to Spiritual Growth?
Here are three principles of giving according to scripture:
- Priority: “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops;” Proverbs 3:9 NIV.
- Sacrificially: “All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.” Luke 21:4 NIV
- Cheerfully: “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV.
What are Four Types of Giving?
In Dictionary of Bible Themes, four types of giving are mentioned:
- The giving of oneself: “Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me” Matthew 16:14 NIV
- Possessions: “They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need” Acts 2:45 NIV.
- Talents: “There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work“ 1 Corinthians 12:4-6 NIV.
- Time: “So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the Word of God in order to wait on tables. Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word” Acts 6:2-4 NIV.
How Should We Give?
God wants our gifts to be more about what we want to give than how much we give. Giving is an expression of our love for Him and others.
The Lord wants us to give from the heart. “Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to” Deuteronomy 15:10 NIV.
He wants us to give cheerfully. “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV.
Quietly: “So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you” Matthew 6:2-4 NIV.
What are the Benefits of Giving?
In an post, the Forgotten Initiative, listed six benefits of giving.
- We bless others: “Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act” Proverbs 3:27 NIV.
- We will be able to give more generously: “Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” 2 Corinthians 9:10-11.
- Those we help will be thankful: “This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God” 2 Corinthians 9:12 NIV.
- They will pray for us: “And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you” 2 Corinthians 9: 14 NIV.
- They will be drawn to Jesus and respond to the Gospel:”Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, others will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else” 2 Corinthians 9: 13 NIV.
- We will have all we need: “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” 2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV.
Giving is important to Spiritual Growth for Christians
Giving is about sharing God’s Love. What better way to grow in the Lord than to give back to Him.
The different keys to spiritual growth is not a formula we follow. As we draw closer to the Lord in love and obedience, growing spiritually becomes natural.
As we follow the steps of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit directs our steps. When we miss a step, He is there to catch us and bring us back to Him.
These keys are just a method to remind us to move forward in our walk with Jesus. Reading His Word and praying will keep us in His Way.
Please feel free to comment and if you have question, please ask.
Deborah Rutherford says
Jackie, thank you for this wonderful detailed sixth key of giving post.
Jackie Stubblefield says
Thank you for all your encouragement.