The Bible never gives us a dollar amount or a percentage we should set aside to give away. The Bible does, however, talk about the significance of giving and what the Lord asks of those who follow him.
How much and where you want to give is up to you. Here are a few passages from the Bible that can help you direct your heart toward generous giving.
Giving Brings Happiness and Joy
In Acts 20:35, Paul reminds the Ephesian Elders that “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”
At first glance, some may translate this to mean that you get more blessings when you give rather than get. In this passage, the word “blessed” comes from the Greek word makarion, meaning “happy.”
Paul points out that giving generously and freely often brings more joy and happiness than receiving. Think about a time when you gave someone a gift you were really proud of or you participated in a toy drive that provided Christmas presents to less-fortunate children in your community. We see clients who commit to regular generosity experience far more contentment in their financial lives — evidence of the truth in this verse.
Here’s how to teach your children to be generous givers!
Download Your FREE Kid’s Guide To Giving Here!
Biblical Generosity Comes From the Heart
A quote from Mother Teresa about loving others has often been used in religious circles to coerce generosity when in fact, the Bible never asks us to “give until it hurts.”
But that doesn’t mean we are only called to obedience when it’s convenient for us. In Luke 21, Jesus observes a woman’s offering at the temple.
“Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box, and he saw a poor widow put in two small copper coins. And he said, “Truly, I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all of them. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
Why does Jesus say that the woman’s small offering was worth more than all the gifts the rich gave? He is teaching us that much more than God cares how much we give, He cares about our heart behind it. This woman gave sacrificially, and her spirit in giving was worth far more to the Lord than the value of her coins.
As Paul said in 2 Corinthians, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Giving is an Act of Love
What do we have that has not been given to us by the Lord? Is not His grace and mercy more than we could ever repay?
Giving is not just an act of thanks or obedience to the Lord but an act of love to the needy and your brothers and sisters in Christ.
2 Corinthians 9:11-12 says, “You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God. For the ministry of this service is not only supplying the needs of the saints but is also overflowing in many thanksgivings to God.”
Acts 4:32-35 says, “Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. And with great power the apostles were giving their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. There was not a needy person among them, for as many as were owners of lands or houses sold them and brought the proceeds of what was sold and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need.”
There are also verses throughout Psalms and Proverbs verses that commend those who help the poor, conduct business generously, and distribute freely.
Living in Alignment with What the Bible Says About Giving
We believe generosity is an integral part of an aligned financial life, especially for clients who desire to live out their biblical values in everything they do.
We start this conversation by walking through a client’s “Live, Give, Owe, Grow” plan, a framework developed by Ron Blue, which breaks down these four areas:
- Live: the cost of everyday living expenses
- Give: how you give generously to others
- Owe: taxes and debt that must be accounted for
- Grow: investments set up for long-term success
This information is a foundational part of developing a long-term financial plan, and giving is one way to help clients steward their resources and hearts toward contentment.