Does God Bless Us in Proportion to Our Giving?
- Monday, April 24, 2006
The truth is, the natural man doesn’t like to give his stuff away. In our basest form we want to hoard and grab. It isn’t easy to let go and give. One of the things I enjoy sharing in the No Debt No Sweat! Seminar are some of the blessings that accompany Godly giving. When we get our giving right—a lot of other things fall into place.
But to do it God’s way we have to understand just how counter-intuitive the Christian faith really is. As I’ve already said, the world says, "If you want to get ahead, you strive to get the most toys—no matter who you crawl over on the way."
Jesus teaches a different ethic. Jesus says, "If you want to be first—then you must become last." "If you want to sit at the head of the table—start at the foot of the table." "If you want to lead others—first become a servant."
Allow me to share three blessings that I believe come to those who get their giving right:
1) Without question, one of the greatest blessings that comes from giving is the way it frees the giver from the tyranny of money. When we give our money away—it’s no longer our money. It’s hard to remain a slave to a master who is no longer present.
2) Giving helps us stay involved in the lives of others. In today’s high-octane world we tend to stay busy and focused on ourselves too much. Our comfortable cars have great radios that insulate us from people who are hurting. Our homes have become personal fortresses that all too often are used to close the world out. Giving is a good way to become involved in the lives of other people who have needs that we can address.
3) Giving brings personal joy. If you are unaware of this fact, it may be because you’ve never chosen to give sacrificially. History books are replete with stories of greedy, crusty, old businessmen who spent their lives making and hoarding money—only to die in misery and solitude. I have nothing against people leaving money for good works after they die, but the best time to give is when you can get the enjoyment of seeing others benefit from your gifts.
Have you heard the story of the unpopular pig? He was jealous of the cow in the pen next to him because everyone loved the bovine’s gentle spirit and kind eyes. Grudgingly, the pig admitted that the cow gave lots of milk and cream, but maintained that pigs give more. "Why," the chubby little guy complained, "we pigs give ham and bacon and people pickle our feet. I don’t see why you cows are so much more popular."
Gently the cow said, "Maybe it’s because we cows give while we’re still living."
Now, I want to discuss the relationship between giving to God and receiving blessings back from God. You will never find anyone who has less patience than I have with what I call the "Gospel Greed Merchants." Their message and methods have been a pet peeve of mine for a long time. In one of my earlier books, Free To Succeed, I had several things to say about this teaching.
You know the philosophy I’m talking about. We see those who promote it on television, hear them on the radio, we receive their periodicals, and sometimes run into them in our own churches. These are the people who raise money by playing to greedy hearts. They talk of God as though He is nothing more than a cosmic game show host who pays off like a heavenly slot machine. The more you give, so the message goes, the more you will get back. Some of these folks have even gone so far as to promise percentages of return—if you give a certain number of dollars, you’ll get such-and-such back in return. Whether we call it the "name it and claim it" theology, or prosperity religion—I believe it’s wrong!
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