’Tis the season for giving and thanksgiving. By now, you are probably regretting all the turkey and pie you enjoyed last week. Or perhaps you are still nursing leftovers. In the midst of food and the chaos of Black Friday, we also begin turning our hearts toward Christmas and giving to others. However, giving isn’t meant to be addressed once a year as we look toward the holidays and then tax season. It is meant to be a mark of our lives as believers. Giving thanks changes our giving.
1. Giving reminds us it all belongs to God.
How we handle our money demonstrates where our trust lies. It ultimately communicates the posture of our hearts. Thankful hearts are a mark of the believer. Our giving should be an overflow of thanks to God for who He is, what He has given, and what He desires to do with our obedience.
In Job 41:11, God makes it clear that everything under heaven belongs to Him, and Deuteronomy 8:18 reminds us that it is He who gives us the ability to make wealth. When we act in a spirit of thanksgiving for what we have, we are able to be good managers of what God has given us. A good manager takes great pride and care in what he is given to steward. He has freedom to multiply it, make it excellent, and turn it into something even better than what he was handed. And he has freedom to give it away, knowing that it isn’t his but has been entrusted to him, and knowing that God will supply all His needs (Philippians 4:16-19).
2. Giving mobilizes the Body for the work of the gospel.
If a thankful person is marked by their giving, then imagine what a thankful church could do. We believe it is the job of the church to equip and mobilize the saints for the work of the gospel. We believe what we have belongs to God. And we want to live lives of gratitude that in turn change our giving and motivate and encourage others to do the same. Imagine a church fully committed to doing the Lord’s business (Luke 19:13). How could they impact the world? How would their giving mobilize missionaries, provide Bibles, send teams, meet physical needs, provide for broadcast programs, etc? God desires His people to be generous givers in order to further the gospel. Becoming a generous giver begins with becoming a thankful believer.
3. Giving cares for the least of these.
Many emotions and circumstances can hold us back from giving, but when we see God as our provider who is out for our best, the good of others, and ultimately His glory, it frees us up to give with purpose and joy. How we demonstrate generosity is a testimony to others of our relationship with the Lord. We are called to give to the least of these (Matthew 25:35-40), to care for orphans and widows (James 1:27), and care for those who do not have the resources we do (Deuteronomy 15:11). The more we overflow with gratitude for what God has given, the more we want to use what we have – our homes, our finances, our resources – to care for others.
The root of giving is a thankful heart. The more we grow to love the Lord, the more we want to give. The more we see God use our giving, the more we grow in relationship with Him and want to be part of what He is doing, which usually changes our heart toward giving even more. As we give, we realize that it all belongs to God and He blesses that giving in one way or another. Regardless of the blessings you receive on earth, you can count on abundant treasures in heaven, including the treasure of more brothers in sisters in Christ who were impacted through your obedience to steward the finances God gave to you to manage.