The Heart Behind Giving

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Your motive matters, because it reflects the state of your heart. When giving, what is your motive?

 “Give, and it will be given to you. They will pour into your lap a good measure—pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” Luke 6:38

By the time John D. Rockefeller died in 1937, he had given the equivalent of over $6 billion dollars to charity. For Rockefeller, generosity was a lesson learned in childhood. As a child making just $1.50 a week, his mom began teaching the importance of giving a tithe (10% of what we earn) back to God. Rockefeller later said he could never have tithed on his first million if he hadn’t learned how to tithe 15 cents on that $1.50 a week.

Talking about money is always difficult – especially in church. And we certainly don’t have to look far to find examples of false preachers promising incredible wealth and blessings in exchange for financial generosity – the “prosperity gospel.” So, what does Jesus actually say about giving? The difference is motive – it’s the heart of the giver that matters.

According to the Bible, we are called to honor God through giving. It begins with the tithe (Malachi 3: 8-10). Through tithing, we show God we trust Him to meet our needs more than we trust ourselves, our job or our bank account. And yes, Scripture does promise that God will bless us. This blessing may take the form for greater financial wealth like in Rockefeller’s case, but it could also be in the form of incredible spiritual blessings.  If God blesses us with greater wealth, it’s not for us to live extravagantly, but rather to give more.

The fact is, no one could ever match God’s generosity.  Just look at Jesus, God’s biggest gift to the World. It was out of love for us that God gave.  He gave His best, His only Son so that we could receive salvation from our sins and be reconciled with Him.

So, why don’t you give? The answer is easy: You don’t trust God. And for those who do give, what is your motive? May it be genuine gratitude for God’s blessings in your life, because that is the greatest motive for giving.

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