The Benefits of GivingIn previous teaching articles, we have highlighted certain verses from the passage below. However, read this entire section of 2 Corinthians in context. Then read it again a few times for good measure! This section of Scripture is full of evidence of the benefits of giving to one another. 6 But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity: for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. 9 As it is written: “He has dispersed abroad, He has given to the poor: His righteousness endures forever.” 10 Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, 11 while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. 12 For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, 13 while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men, 14 and by their prayer for you, who long for you because of the exceeding grace of God in you. 15 Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
– 2 Corinthians 9:6-15
Give CheerfullyThere is so much to meditate on in these verses! But let’s just pull out a few key points to consider. First, you have free will to choose how you will give! Do you feel pressured to give out of guilt? Has someone said, “This need we have is so great!” or, “If you give, we guarantee this result!” Those things are manipulation, and you should never give if you feel that you are being manipulated. Give as you purpose in your heart, cheerfully, because you feel moved by the Holy Spirit to give. This is why you will often hear us encourage people to give to others rather than to us. We’ll say, “If you think we are telling you these things to get your money, please don’t give to us!” We would much rather you give in faith to another ministry if you have any doubts about our motives. We know and believe in the benefits of giving and we want you to live in those benefits! Second, When you give in faith, God is able to give you more back in return. He wants you to have an abundance to give to every good work! Next, God is the one who will provide seed for you to sow! It’s been said, “If you get addicted to giving, God will support your habit!” The truth is, God gives you seed to sow and bread for food. He will make sure you have enough to provide for your own needs as well as abundance to help others.
The Grace of Giving
1 Moreover, brethren, we make known to you the grace of God bestowed on the churches of Macedonia: 2 that in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality.
3 For I bear witness that according to their ability, yes, and beyond their ability, they were freely willing, 4 imploring us with much urgency that we would receive the gift and the fellowship of the ministering to the saints. 5 And not only as we had hoped, but they first gave themselves to the Lord, and then to us by the will of God.
6 So we urged Titus, that as he had begun, so he would also complete this grace in you as well. 7 But as you abound in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all diligence, and in your love for us—see that you abound in this grace also.
Christ Our Pattern8 I speak not by commandment, but I am testing the sincerity of your love by the diligence of others. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though He was rich, yet for your sakes He became poor, that you through His poverty might become rich. 10 And in this I give advice: It is to your advantage not only to be doing what you began and were desiring to do a year ago; 11 but now you also must complete the doing of it; that as there was a readiness to desire it, so there also may be a completion out of what you have. 12 For if there is first a willing mind, it is accepted according to what one has, and not according to what he does not have. 13 For I do not mean that others should be eased and you burdened; 14 but by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may supply their lack, that their abundance also may supply your lack—that there may be equality. 15 As it is written, “He who gathered much had nothing left over, and he who gathered little had no lack.”
– 2 Corinthians 8:1-15, emphasis added
Freedom From the FleshNotice in 2 Corinthians 8:7 that Paul specifically notes that giving is a grace. It isn’t a work of the flesh. Giving is a grace from God working through us. Grace flows out of us as a result of our new-creation, born-again identity. Grace is Jesus becoming poor on the cross so that we might become rich (2 Corinthians 8:9)! Also, God doesn’t expect you to give what you do not have! This is really important to understand because some Christians have gotten themselves in financial trouble by using credit cards to give. This is very unwise! Yes, the woman who gave her last two coins to the temple treasury gave all that she had (you might like to reference our article entitled Don’t Despise the Little), but she didn’t give something that she did not have. One of the benefits of giving is that it frees you from covetousness and the love of money! 1 Timothy 6:10 says that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. When your flesh fights you in the area of giving, it may be time to do it anyway. Your flesh will tell you, “You need that money! It doesn’t make sense to give what you need away. You worked hard for that money! That money is yours, not theirs!” But when you give, it’s an action which takes a stand regarding what you believe and tells your flesh to be quiet! Your spirit, your faith is in charge, not your flesh! Giving is a way to exercise your faith.
Guiding Your Heart and IncreaseMatthew 6:21 says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Through your giving, you can actually guide your heart to be set more on things of God. Proverbs 23:19 says, “Hear, my son, and be wise; And guide your heart in the way.” You can be intentional on where your heart is by focusing your giving in those areas. You can also identify areas in your heart that need to be redirected. When you see how much money you are spending, you can redirect your heart by redirecting your money. Another of the benefits of giving is that you will increase when you give in faith. There is one who scatters, yet increases more; And there is one who withholds more than is right, But it leads to poverty.
– Proverbs 11:24This concept of increase as one of the benefits of giving is also supported by our article entitled 100-Fold. If you haven’t read that one yet, we really encourage you to do so before moving on! When we give to one another—cheerfully, as we purpose in our hearts by the leading of the Holy Spirit—we increase our own capacity to receive freely from God a 100-fold return on what has been given. 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.
– Luke 6:38Then He said to them, “Take heed what you hear. With the same measure you use, it will be measured to you; and to you who hear, more will be given.”
– Mark 4:24
Overcoming Fear in GivingPerhaps you are struggling in the area of giving. Maybe you experience fear of lack when you feel the Holy Spirit leading you to give. You know what the Word says, but you are afraid that the benefits of giving will not work for you. You’re looking at your income versus your expenses, and giving just doesn’t make natural sense. It makes you afraid, “If I give, I won’t have enough to pay my own bills!” Listen, we understand! Giving just doesn’t line up with rules of the natural world’s economy. If you are fighting these fears, the Word of God will bring you victory! Steps of faith are oftentimes made a little at a time. If you are struggling with fear, give a little at a time. Give a dollar. Make giving one dollar a habit. Then give two. Then five. Give the Lord something to work with! As you experience His faithfulness in providing for you, you will gain confidence in your giving. Remember, faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). The more you hear the Word of God—His promises to you—the more you will grow in your faith! The more your faith grows, the more you will give. The more you give, the more you will be given. Your receivers increase! Your storehouses expand, and you can receive more and more from God. Therefore, you are able to give more and more!
Money is a tool that can either be abused or used for the glory of God. With the God Wants You Rich USB series you will learn the purpose of money and how God’s desire for your provision will set you free to live abundantly!