Biblical Principles of Money Management: Giving

by Jessica Sommerfield · 1 comment

The Bible’s ancient store of wisdom for your personal finances encompasses many topics such as budgeting, saving, debt management, attitudes toward money, and good stewardship of your finances and resources. Another aspect of money management the Bible addresses is giving.

Unfortunately, giving is not a budgeted ‘expense’ in many households. But it should be. While saving 10% off the top of your income is referred to as ‘paying yourself first,’ regular giving is a way of sharing your abundance with those who aren’t as fortunate as well as achieving specific altruistic goals. And, although you shouldn’t be giving merely for the personal benefits, most contributions to non-profit and charitable organizations are tax-deductible if you itemize.

Here are some passages from the Bible that deal with the topic of giving:

There is one who scatters and yet increases all the more, and there is one who withholds what is justly due, and yet it results only in want. The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.  — Proverbs 11:24-25

He who gives to the poor will never want, but he who shuts his eyes will have many curses. — Proverbs 28:27

He who is generous will be blessed, for he gives some of his food to the poor. — Proverbs 22:9

And he would answer and say to them, “the man who has two tunics is to share with him who has none; and he who has food is to do likewise.” — Luke 3:11

In everything I showed you that by working hard in this manner, you must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that he himself said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” — Acts  20:35

Sowing & Reaping
According to these passages, the principle in place is that if you give to those in need, your own needs will be taken care of. This is not simply a principle of faith, but extremely practical. When you budget giving as well as give spontaneously you are setting in motion a chain reaction of giving that often results in receiving. Simply put, if you help a friend in need, a friend will help you in your time of need. If you are stingy with your finances and refuse to give to anyone, others won’t be motivated to give to you in return. In other words, you ‘reap what you sow.’ If you ‘sow’ generosity, you will reap generosity.

When you give, you won’t necessarily always receive a financial return. The return might be a favor, a smile, a hug, or even the simply satisfaction of knowing you did something kind for someone  who may never know you.

Creative Giving
Planning giving into your budget, whether you donate regularly to your church or a favorite non-profit organization, is an important step in incorporating giving into your lifestyle. But there are numerous ways to give beyond what your paycheck allows. Consider the following:

  1. Donate your time.  Although it’s important to give money to charities, it’s also important to give yourself. Many charitable organizations are desperate for volunteers who will put in time merely for the love of the cause or desire to help reach a goal. You usually don’t have to be skilled or experienced, just willing. There are jobs for just about anyone, whether you enjoy working with people or prefer to stay behind the scenes.
  2. Donate your talent. Many doctors and nurses participate in programs in which they visit poorly funded clinics in third-world countries and give freely of their professional skills to those who would otherwise be unable to afford it. You might not be a doctor, but you probably have some skill that a charitable organization could use — the ability to organize, bake, make crafts,sew, build, repair, advertise, etc.

Beyond Guilt and Into Fulfillment
If you’ve struggled with feeling guilty for not giving or being a reluctant giver, don’t be too hard on yourself. It’s hard to part with money you’ve worked hard to earn, especially if you don’t have the money to spare. The key to moving beyond guilt and into fulfillment in giving is to find a cause you can identify with — something that excites you. Each of us have particular causes that are closer to our hearts than others, and the best kind of giving is that which is motivated by a willing and cheerful heart. So get creative and find your niche, but don’t fail to give.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Lisa September 26, 2013 at 8:55 pm

What a wonderful post! It’s so wonderful to see that there are still people who live by God’s word and have the desire to practice it! God bless you!

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