Christians are a Giving People!

There is no question that Christians are a giving people. In fact any professed believer who is not generous and giving needs to seriously consider who they really are.

2 Corinthians 13:5 Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you - unless, of course, you fail the test?

Part of our personal examination comes from seeing how God is working in our lives. A person saved by amazing grace cannot help but show it! Jesus, on His own authority, established the norm for the New Covenant, setting aside the common practice from the Old...

Matthew 5:38-42 "You have heard that it was said, 'Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.' 39 But I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. 40 And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. 41 If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. 42 Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.

In another place, Jesus also pointed out that of everything God has given to us, we need to freely give. Don't miss that the context of this next passage is not in regards to money.

Matthew 10:8b Freely you have received, freely give.

Amassing possessions with focus on self is a mark of an unrepentant sinner, not a believer. Jesus, responding to one such rich man, showed this clearly when He said...

Matthew 19:21 Jesus answered, "If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."

Believers, in contrast, should be so unattached to things that we would be eager to use them all for our Lord. It's a good heart-check to ask the question: if the Master commanded you to sell all your possessions and give it all away to the poor in your community, would you be willing to do it?

Finally, Jesus told us that His followers would have a focus on serving others. This cannot happen without having a life focused on giving. There's no better example than Jesus. He gave His entire life in service!

Mark 10:43-45 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. 45 For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

"Give..." is clearly a command of Jesus. No believer in Jesus Christ, confessing Him as Savior and Lord, will want to ignore His commands. Jesus made this unambiguous with these words...

John 14:23-24 Jesus replied, "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. 24 He who does not love me will not obey my teaching. These words you hear are not my own; they belong to the Father who sent me.

Now that we are unquestionably clear that every believer is to be a giving person, in all areas of their life, it leaves us focused on questions of specifics. Does the Bible give particular commands on how we should be giving? Certainly many would point to the tithe as a starting place, so this is where our examination also must go.