Luke 6:38 – “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” NKJV
There are two paths in giving and sometimes one or both are overlooked by many followers of the Bible and those professing Christ as their Savior. I am going to venture out into a realm that can possibly put me in direct conflict with the philosophy and beliefs of some. What I have to say will resonate with some, be eye opening to others, challenging to a few and potentially infuriating to another group. I have no malice in what I’m saying, no ax to grind and hopefully will provide a thought or thoughts which will benefit you in your spiritual walk and development. I am a seeker of truth and want all that I do and/or say to be pleasing to the Father and beneficial to those seeking Him and His Kingdom.
I see two pathways regarding giving taught in the Bible and both are practiced by believers around the world. They both speak to “The Reward” of Giving and speak to something that needs to be addressed in churches all across this land. Both are powerful but one is relegated to the Natural or “this life” and the other affects both worlds, “the natural” and “the spiritual.” Both provide reward and depending on your purpose will be attractive to you.
There is the giving that focuses on “What is in The Hand” and giving that focuses on “What is in The Heart.” One speaks of the act the other the motivation. Both definitively impact your life. I will address both types of giving and allow you to determine which is for you and which is desired by the Father, taught by our Lord Jesus and the better way.
WHAT IS IN THE HAND, GIVING – – Matthew 6:1
This is addressed in the Bible in many ways but in Matthew 6:1 we read, “Take heed that you do not do your charitable deeds before men, to be seen of them. Otherwise, you have no reward from your Father in heaven.” Jesus goes on to advise that if you make a public show of what you are doing your reward is what people think of you and that is it. I believe in the Law of Sowing and Reaping and Reciprocity. The Law of Multiplication is in effect and practiced both inside and outside the Church.
Some in the Church have almost made giving a “Retirement” or “Wealth Producing” Plan rather than an act of love for God, His people, and the Kingdom. In this type of giving it is designed to GET or focused on the RETURN, not the need. If I pray to be seen of men that is my reward. If I labor to be seen by men that is my reward. If I live a clean life to be seen of men that is my reward. If my motivation is recognition then my giving is WHAT IS IN THE HAND, GIVING, and the recognition is my reward.
WHAT IS IN THE HEART, GIVING – – Mark 12:43
This is also addressed in the Bible in many ways and in Mark 12 Jesus positioned Himself near the treasury and watched what people gave there was a reason. He watched those who had much as they brought their gifts and then the widow with her two mites and His response was surprising then and now to many. He said, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury, for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”
God’s focus and the Giving that results in a REWARD from the Father have the focus on the MOTIVATION behind the giving and the PROPORTION. Her giving was motivated by her love of God, expressed her faith in His promises and was, in a real sense, giving herself in totality to God. Most of us have experienced times when the Holy Spirit prompted our hearts to give an amount that was more than most would consider reasonable but out of our LOVE we gave in obedience. I believe that is what David is specifically addressing in the Psalms when he declared, “I was young and now am old, and I have not seen the righteous forsaken nor his seed begging for bread.”
A seasoned minister once spoke to me about giving and said, “Son, if you don’t notice it when it leaves, you won’t notice it when it comes back.” He then quoted Luke 6:38 and said, “Live by this truth and know that God takes into account your motive as well as the amount and always considers the proportion.” That took root in my heart and I have sought to live by that principle in giving.
Someone told me that we are to “give to get, to give to get.” I believe we are to “give to live” and our giving is to be an expression of our love and confidence in God. I have had people seek to donate to the church but with conditions and I have usually refused those gifts. I’m not talking about giving for a cause or needy family and designating it for that purpose but I’m talking about the desire to control. If I give, it is unto God and if those that receive the gift misuse it that is between them and God my motivation was to honor God and address a perceived need and prefer to give anonymously.
God bless you and may you be enriched in your life in all things.