Why We Give
“. . . if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously . . .” (Romans 12:8)
Christians give because, at the heart of our created identity, we are stewards. To be a steward means that all we have already belongs to God. We are simply managing everything we hold for the Creator. As faithful stewards, we regularly return a portion of our blessings to the Lord of our lives.
We also give in response to God’s love. The act of giving is the act of loving. God was the first one to get us all thinking like this. “For God so loved the world that He gave … .” When Christians give, it draws our hearts closer to God.
One of the most exciting reasons we give is because God invites us into a holy partnership with His work in the world. Through our giving, we become a faithful part of the ministry of Jesus Christ in the world. As Jesus explained, where our treasure is, there will our heart be also. We cannot have our hearts invested in the things that make an eternity of difference in the world without our treasure being invested as well.
The Bible does not ask Christians to give because the church has needs, although there are many pressing needs. It calls us to give because we need to give for the sake of our own souls. Giving is just as much a spiritual discipline as is prayer, worship, compassion, and mission. No soul can stay healthy without giving.
Photograph: Detail of “Jesus Multiplies the Loaves and Fishes,” art glass window in the north rear corner of the nave of Shadyside Presbyterian Church. Photograph taken by Len Levasseur.