As a Christian, the topic of giving holds a special place in my heart because it serves as a constant reminder of the significance of generosity and selflessness in our lives. Although I have a general understanding of the concept of giving, I recently felt compelled to explore what God specifically says about this act, therefore, I proposed to my Bible study group that we delve deeper into this topic. Our study session commenced with the question, “How many times is giving mentioned in the Bible?”
Giving is mentioned over 1500 times in the Bible, although this number varies depending on the Bible version in question. The Bible emphasizes the importance of generosity and selflessness and encourages believers to give cheerfully, sacrificially, and with a willing heart.
In this article, I invite you to join me as we dig into this discussion and uncover the concept of giving in the Bible. To also learn the types of giving and some of the examples of giving in the Scriptures, read on.
What does the Bible say about giving?
The Bible teaches that the attitude of our hearts is crucial when it comes to giving as implied in 2 Corinthians 9:7, where we’re encouraged to give with a cheerful heart, not reluctantly or out of compulsion. This verse emphasizes that God values our willingness to give from a place of joy and gratitude rather than a sense of duty. Also, the Bible suggests that giving is seen as an act of worship and obedience to God as implied in Malachi 3:10, where the scripture teaches us the importance of honoring God with our finances, trusting that He’ll provide for our needs.
The Bible also assures us that God rewards and blesses those who give generously as suggested in Luke 6:38, where Jesus teaches that God’s provision isn’t limited but abundant for those who embrace a generous lifestyle. Finally, according to the Bible, giving is also linked to supporting the work of God’s kingdom as implied in 1 Corinthians 16:2, where Paul instructs believers to set aside a portion of their income to support the needs of the church, demonstrating the importance of contributing to the advancement of God’s mission on earth.
What are the Biblical principles of giving?
One of the Biblical principles is giving with a cheerful heart as suggested in 2 Corinthians 9:7, where the Bible emphasizes that our motivation should stem from joy and gratitude rather than compulsion or obligation. Another principle is giving sacrificially as speculated in 1 Corinthians 16:2. This principle demonstrates the idea of giving in proportion to our blessings and income, reflecting a willingness to sacrifice for the sake of God’s work.
Another principle is giving in secret and humility as suggested in Matthew 6:3-4, where we’re advised that our giving shouldn’t be driven by seeking public recognition or praise but rather by a desire to honor God and help others. Finally, Bible also emphasizes the importance of giving to the needy and vulnerable as implied in Proverbs 19:17, where we’re taught that when we lend to the poor, we lend to the Lord, highlighting the significance of compassionate giving and caring for those less fortunate.
Examples of giving in the bible
One of the most popular instances of giving in the Bible includes the Widow’s Mite, as implied in Mark 12:41-44, where the Bible showcases the sacrificial giving of a poor widow who offered two small coins as her contribution to the temple treasury. Jesus commends her for her immense generosity, emphasizing that her gift, though small in monetary value, surpassed the offerings of the wealthy, and this example teaches us that true giving isn’t measured by the amount but by the heart and sacrifice behind it. Another example of giving is in Acts 4:36-37, where we witness Barnabas’ generosity. Barnabas, a disciple in the early Christian community, exemplified a spirit of giving by selling a field and bringing the proceeds to the apostles for distribution to those in need.
Zacchaeus’ repentance story in Luke 19:1-10 is another great example of giving because upon encountering Jesus, Zacchaeus voluntarily gave his possessions to the poor and promised to repay anyone he had wronged. Additionally, Jesus’ sacrificial giving in John 3:16 is the ultimate example of giving as he died to save humanity from sin and provide eternal life. Jesus’ selfless act of giving serves as the foundation and inspiration for all Christian giving. Proverbs 3:9-10 also talks about giving encouraging us to acknowledge God as the ultimate provider and giving Him the first and best of what we have, and by doing so, this verse suggests that our material blessings will abound and overflow.
Also, Acts 20:35 speaks on giving suggesting that it’s more blessed to give than to receive, highlighting the joy and spiritual fulfillment that comes from selflessly giving to others. This scripture encourages believers to focus on serving and meeting the needs of others rather than seeking personal gain or accumulation. In 1 Timothy 6:18-19, there’s also another example of giving where the Bible instructs us to be generous, ready to share, and rich in good works, emphasizing the importance of using one’s resources to help others.
Proverbs 11:24-25 also discusses giving implying that those who give freely and generously will experience abundance, while those who withhold and hoard will suffer want, emphasizing the principle of sowing and reaping. Additionally, in Deuteronomy 15:10 the Bible reminds us to give to those in need without hesitation or reluctance and to do it freely and cheerfully, emphasizing the importance of having a generous and willing heart, knowing that God will bless our obedience. Finally, Proverbs 22:9 also talks about giving implying that those who have a generous and giving heart will receive both material and spiritual blessings.
Types of giving according to the Bible
One type of giving according to the Bible is tithing, which involves giving a tenth of one’s income or produce to God, as speculated in Malachi 3:10. Tithing represents a form of giving that acknowledges God as the ultimate provider and demonstrates trust and obedience. Another type of giving is in offerings, which go beyond the tithe and are voluntary contributions made to support God’s work and kingdom.
First fruit giving is another type of giving according to the Bible that refers to the practice of dedicating and offering the first portion of one’s harvest or income to God, as a way of acknowledging God’s provision and sovereignty over all aspects of life, as implied in Exodus 23:19.
Alms-giving is another type that involves assisting, typically in the form of material or financial support, the poor and needy. Jesus encouraged alms-giving in His teachings, emphasizing the importance of helping the less fortunate as speculated in Matthew 6:2-4.
Is giving the same as charity according to the bible?
The Bible presents giving as a broad concept that encompasses various forms of generosity, including financial support, acts of kindness, and the sharing of resources. It emphasizes the heart behind giving and the motivation to bless others, therefore, giving, in this sense, goes beyond monetary donations and encompasses a lifestyle of selflessness and generosity.
Charity, on the other hand, is often understood as an expression of love in action, particularly directed toward those in need. The Greek word often translated as “charity” in the New Testament is “agape,” which means a selfless, sacrificial love that seeks the well-being and welfare of others. Charity, in this context, is an embodiment of God’s love flowing through us to meet the needs of others.
As a devout Christian, I have always been passionate about the Christian faith. This inspired me to pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology in college. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Since I am dedicated to spreading the word of God, I am actively involved in the Church. Additionally, I share his word online and cover diverse topics on the Christian faith through my platform. You can read more about me on the about us page.