I want to talk about generosity again, now that my perspective has changed since I last wrote about it. There are a few points I want to address:
- Your heart attitude is more important than the way you give
- Percentage matters more than the dollar amount
- Our Father wants your heart, not your money
- Real giving has no strings attached
Your heart attitude is more important than the way you give. A few weeks ago, Jesus appeared to me in a dream. He told me a few things, but there is one that I need to share with you. He told me that my heart motives are more important than my actions. What does this mean in the context of generosity? The gift you give is not scrutinised by God the same way your heart is. Here are some questions to ask yourself before giving. Are you reluctantly or resentfully giving the gift? Do you feel forced to give because of tithing expectations? Do you hold unforgiveness in your heart toward a brother or sister? If you or I answer yes to any of these questions, we must examine our heart to ensure we have pure motives. Pray on each issue that arises and ask Jesus to change your heart.
Percentage matters more than the dollar amount. Whenever I think about generosity, I am reminded of a particular Bible story (Luke 21:1-4). Jesus is with his disciples in the temple, watching various people give offerings. Many rich people gave large sums, but when a widow put in two small copper coins, Jesus declared that she had given more than the rich before her. The poor widow had given all she had to live! There was a direct pain in giving those coins because, for that week, there was no money for food, accommodation, or other expenses. In the same way as that story, God knows your financial state, so larger dollar amounts do not always equal a more generous gift. If you desire to give more, do so based on your money percentage rather than thinking in dollar amounts.
Our Father wants your heart, not your money. God is infinitely rich because he created all things, so he has no need for you to give. However, he wants you to give because by giving your money, he gets your heart. Jesus stated that where your treasure is, there your heart is also (Matthew 6:21). He warned against storing up treasures on earth because they do not last. When you give to God, you get treasure in heaven, and when you have treasure in heaven, your heart is in heaven. Therefore, following this progression, when you give God money, you are giving him your heart.
Real giving has no strings attached. A genuine gift must be given in whole with no expectation of return; otherwise, it is a transaction. Imagine the following story as an example. You are close with your best friend, and he gives you a gift every birthday and Christmas. One day when you are both walking together along a road, a car swerves toward your friend, but you see it fast enough to push him out of the way. Tragically, you are killed instead. At your funeral, your friend is giving a speech. At the speech, he complains that he wasted a lot of money on gifts for you, because you didn’t give enough back.
This story has likely never happened between two best friends, but is it possible to happen between God and us? God gave his life so you and I can live in freedom with him, so why should we give with a motive behind the gift that expects some kind of ‘return on investment’? God is the investment! God has already given more than you or I could ever possibly hope to repay!
May you have a blessed week.