Giving can be one outward indicator of where our hearts are with the resources God has blessed us with. If we’re not giving then we’re not really living out God’s calling for our life. Signs of giving can be an indicator of how someone is living, but it is important to also have good character and motivation behind giving because outward giving could just as well be a sign of boastful living.
Matthew 6:1-4 says outward giving can be self-honoring, or hypocritical, and there is no reward for that in heaven. This is something I have to keep in check as I use giving examples from my own life as teaching or encouragement to others for their life, but I never want to do that in a boastful way or with self-honor as the motivation. Outward giving can truly be a form of pride and, unfortunately, it is for many people.
2 Corinthians 9:7 says giving should be from our heart and done cheerfully rather than reluctantly or from compulsion. That word “compulsion” can take on many forms that include the outward, or prideful, motivations for giving. Giving truly is a heart issue and I believe if our heart is right about it the outward signs might have more to do with attitude than dollar signs.
Here are some questions we can ask our self before giving that might help us reveal our motivation and keep our heart in check:
- Am I giving to draw attention from man or to further God’s kingdom and strengthen my relationship with Him?
- Am I comparing my giving to what others are giving or am I deciding in my heart what is right for me to give regardless of what others are doing?
- Am I giving because I want to be noticed by or gain influence with the person or organization receiving the gift or because I believe in my heart that the person or organization is furthering God’s kingdom?
- A good way to sum up all three questions might be: If no one other than God knew how much I’m giving or where I’m giving it would I still do it?
I hope you’re being obedient and faithful in giving what God has put in your heart to give, and I trust your motivation for the outward signs is pure.
For more of my thoughts on the subject of giving, as well as saving and spending, check out this brand new ebook – God Centered Finances. You’ll have to trust me that the proceeds are going to a worthy cause 🙂