Why give to God?? I was intrigued by this question when Larry Burkett raised it in his book Giving and Tithing. It wasn’t being raised as a prelude to giving people who were not already giving, a reason to start giving. It was being addressed in his book, as in this article, to an audience of people who are already givers. So the heavy lifting had already been done. So it should be an easy sell from this point, i..ee.. “preaching to the choir..”
Burkett feels that giving to God helps Christians maintain the proper perspective toward God. It reminds us that he is the owner of all we have and we are just the managers.. He goes on to state that when we view money and possessions as belonging to us we inevitably begin to look at every other aspect of our lives the same way. We view ourselves as being in charge. We begin to think of God as our servant existing solely to help us from time to time when we call upon him instead of the fact that we are God’s servants always ready to do His will..
Going back to the question of “why give to God?” Burkett offers both good and bad reasons. The good reasons include that giving should be an outward, material expression of a deep spiritual commitment, an indication of a willing and obedient heart. Also among the good reasons is the fact that we should give out of grateful hearts and with an attitude of joy. “Let each one do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (22 Corinthians 9:77) Romans 12:88 describes people with the spiritual gift of giving, living disciplined and prudent lives, which enable them to give generously. They are sensitive to the needs of others and conscious of the need to check out every cause to which they give. You may also give out of conviction and can discern if the conviction is from God or just an emotional response by reading God’s word and through prayer.
Wrong reasons for giving include giving for the express purpose of receiving. Some people try to bribe God by giving to him first and quote Luke 6:38 as their reference. Christians should remember that God looks at the heart and is pleased with our giving only when our motives are right. Neither is God pleased with those who give out of fear, in the belief that if they don’t give, God will punish them. Burkett differentiates between that kind of fear and the spiritual maturity that consists of reverence for and respect toward God, tempered with confidence in His love. Also, giving to impress others does not impress God. Jesus taught this lesson to the Pharisees. He told them, “When you give alms, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing” (Matthew 6:33)
I believe it to be beneficial to reflect from time to time on why we give to God. Many of us give out of habit. We put our giving on auto – pilot with little thought given to why we are giving or what we are giving. When we are mindful of the fact that we give to serve God and to uplift His Kingdom, we just might be moved to give a bit more generously and experience with greater intensity that joyfulness of heart that comes from generous giving.
Paul E.. Rowe,, Chairman