Today is #GivingTuesday. Haven’t heard about it? According to their web page it is a “global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration.” It’s now in its fourth year of existence.
“Observed on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving (in the U.S.) and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, #GivingTuesday kicks off the charitable season, when many focus on their holiday and end-of-year giving.”
“Since its inaugural year in 2012, #GivingTuesday has become a movement that celebrates and supports giving and philanthropy with events throughout the year and a growing catalog of resources.”
Giving is good. It is the nature of God. And it is directed by Biblical principles. Here are 7 Scriptural guidelines for giving.
(1) You shouldn’t give what you don’t have.
The Bible says, “Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have” (2Cor. 8:12-13).
We are commanded to provide for our families, pay our debts and fund the operation of government through taxes (1 Tim.5:8; Rom. 13:7-8) There is time in everyone s life when there is nothing left over. Regardless of how worthy the cause, or the purity of our motives, we should meet our personal obligations first before giving to others.
(2) Giving ought to have a godly motive.
Regarding our contributions to the Lord, we are directed to give as we have purposed, “not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2Cor 8:9). A willing, cheerful and eager attitude ought to characterize all of our giving.
(3) Giving should be according to our ability.
1 Corinthians 16:2 teaches that we should give based on our prosperity. One version says, “in keeping with his income.” Not everyone can give the same amount. Income and ability vary from person to person. In fact, personal prosperity changes in one’s lifetime, and may even vary year to year or month to month.
(4) People should be a priority in giving.
In the Bible there is an emphasis on helping the poor, widows, orphans and those in real need who are vulnerable. (Jas. 1:27; Ax 2:32-37; 6:1-6). Organizations that meet the needs of people deserve our support.
(5) Giving is based on our opportunities.
We all are presented with different opportunities at different times. We don’t always know about a specific need, charity, or organization. And opportunity involves our own financial ability. But “as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers” (Gal. 6:10).
(6) Pressing Needs are a priority in giving.
The Bible instructs, “let our people learn to devote themselves to good works, so as to help cases of urgent need, and not be unfruitful” (Titus 3:14). While every request is linked to a need, not all needs are legitimate, nor are they pressing. It requires some thought, wisdom and discretion to determine what needs are a priority.
(7) Giving should ultimately glorify God.
All giving and good done by Christians ought to be to God’s glory, not our personal aggrandizement “Do everything to the glory of God” is a good principle to live by (1 Cor 10:31).
So, today on #GivingTuesday, it’s a good time to consider your financial ability, opportunities, and priorities, then give accordingly. After all, as Francis of Assisi said, “It is in giving that we receive.”
–Ken Weliever, The Preacherman
I would love to hear from our readers. What other guidelines, principles or priorities guide your giving?