When we give we are growing our freedom in life. Giving is an outward act of gratitude. It shows our thankfulness for what we have been blessed with. When gratitude prevails over our lives we want to share our blessings with others. When we withhold generosity we also withhold gratitude. This kind of living stifles freedom and makes us retreat from living fully. In order for God to pour into us we must be pouring into others. If we want our world to expand and we want greater responsibilities we must start with giving what we have. Through the act of giving we show where our priorities lay and in who we trust. The world would have us store up and hold onto what we have, but this would mean we relinquish our trust in God providing for us. With an outlook of gratitude, giving no longer feels like an obligation, but becomes our desire.
Proverbs 11:24-25 NIV
Giving is a privilege. When we give we also receive. We, of course, should not give with the expectation of receiving, but we can know that we are doing what God wants. When we obey God, He does not let our obedience go unnoticed. He wants to give us just as a parent wants to give to their child. God wants our hearts to be transformed into cheerful givers, because it is when we give that the heart of God shines through. In order to give generously and without reluctance we must surrender our lives to God. It is when we come to the realization that everything we have in this life, even life itself, is not ours in the first place, is when we are surrendering. Through surrendering what we think we should have or do or be, we are then able to give and give beyond what we thought possible. Our giving no longer comes from our worldly means, but rather it comes from the overflowing abundance of the Lord.
2 Corinthians 9:6-9 NIV
A Story of Giving because of Gratitude:
I used to think tithing in the “traditional” way was unnecessary. I would rationalize that I gave in lots of other ways. Why do I need to give 10% of my money to my church? I need that money to live and be comfortable.
The thing I didn’t realize was that in holding onto my money I was trusting in myself to provide. Through my time of trusting in myself to provide I never had extra. In fact, I would barely scrape by most months.
When I finally started tithing 10% it was because I knew God wanted more for me. However, I also knew I could not receive more until I trusted Him more. Giving 10% of my money is the ultimate way to show Him I trust Him. Even now, many years later, I think sometimes, “I could really use that money to go toward this or that,” but then I remember, none of my money is mine in the first place, so why wouldn’t I show God that I know that? I never scrape by anymore. God has given me so much more. I will continue to be grateful and trust in Him.
Strengthen the Christian Planner Family by sharing your experiences. We'd love to hear a story about God's work in your life. Use the form linked below to submit your story.
Considerations for your planner:
- Do you surrender what you have in order to give freely? Write down what might be difficult about surrender for you.
- Write down what makes you happy about giving. Do you make this your regular state of being?