The Joy of Giving
January 11, 2010 1 Comment
by Patrice Tsague
“That in a great trial of affliction the abundance of their joy and their deep poverty abounded in the riches of their liberality.” ~ 2 Cor. 8:2
Although the United States has the highest percentage of charitable giving then other nations in the world it is also one of few nations that enjoy tax write-offs from such giving. Do we give because of the tax write-off or because we have a heart to give? The recent economic crisis has caused some to reduce their giving and others to even stop giving all together. Do we give because we have much or do we give because we are grateful for what we have?
Giving should be something we do out of joy not out of obligation. Giving should be a natural response of gratefulness and an expression of joy for who God is and what he has done for us. Unfortunately many kingdom business stewards give out of obligation, guilt or benefits rather than out joy.
The Apostle Paul planted many churches, some in very wealthy communities and others in poor communities, but those he planted in poorer communities primarily supported his ministry. Even though the churches of Macedonia suffered great afflictions and were deeply poor they nevertheless gave with great joy even beyond their abilities (I Corinthians 8:1-4).
Joy is an eternal peace and excitement demonstrated by an external expression of gratitude. Joy gives rhythm, flavor and a smile to our giving. Giving without joy is like operating machinery without the proper lubrication. It will not last. Joy makes your giving consistent and easy to be received.
How to give with joy?
- First give yourself to the Lord – You cannot give with joy if you have not first given yourself to the Lord. Giving is a response to a personal and intimate relationship with the Lord. God does not need what you have; it already belongs to Him. What He needs is you.
- Give to those people or things you love - For God so love the world that He gave us His only begotten Son. Giving is a tangible demonstration of your love for someone or some cause.
- Give even in trials – Giving is not something you do when things are going well but it is a lifestyle. The habit of giving is not developed during good times but in bad times.
- Give to purpose not to need – Need eradicates resources while purpose eradicates need. Giving is not what solves problems; rather it is purpose that solves problems. You should target your giving towards those people and organizations that are working to eradicate the need you are passionate about.
- Give to good ground – Giving is an investment in eternity so therefore you must ensure that the ground is good so that it can yield the maximum eternal returns. Make sure that the person or organization you are giving to will carry out the expected mission with proper accountability.
- Give out of what you have – Never give that which has been obligated to other things such as rent, car note, loan payment etc…. Other then the tithe giving should always be out of discretionary money. If you want to increase your giving then either increase your income without increasing your obligated expenses or decrease your obligated expenses.
- Give as unto the Lord – Your giving is never to people or things but rather it is to God. Though it is administered by people and organizations you must focus on the ultimate receiver of your giving, and that is God. He will honor your heart no matter what the people or organization does with your charitable contribution. This ensures that your giving is unconditional.
Some kingdom business stewards give only enough to meet their tax deduction obligations while others give as long as they have to give irrespective of their tax deduction limit. Which one are you? If the U.S. government was to end the tax deduction policy today will your giving go down or remain the same?
A young biblical entrepreneur, after being blessed by several million dollars in a settlement, was led to commit above and beyond his tithe to kingdom work against his accountant’s advice, who felt that he should limit his giving to his maximum tax benefit. This young entrepreneur recognized the fact that his giving is not based on any temporal benefits he may receive from the IRS but on eternal benefits he will surely receive from the King of Kings. To the King every gift is a tax write-off in His kingdom.
Tax write-offs are great and must be encouraged for it is better to give to a kingdom cause then to the IRS. However, it should not be the only basis for our giving. The joy of giving means that I give purely because it is my way of expressing my love for the things I believe in and my gratefulness to the God who made me a steward over His resources. It is the external expression of the peace I have on the inside and my gratitude to the Prince of Peace. All benefits that come with giving are byproducts of my giving not the reason for my giving.
Copyright © 2010 Patrice Tsague ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible.
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Patrice Tsague, a gifted speaker, author, and entrepreneurship coach, is the Chief Servant Officer of Nehemiah Project International Ministries (NPIM). He thrives on equipping and empowering Christians to take dominion and fulfill God’s plan for their lives through biblically-based, entrepreneurial training. NPIM offers a proprietary certificate business discipleship course called the “Biblical Entrepreneurship Certificate Program”. The program provides a strong mix of core business concepts and biblical principles. Some of the courses offered include Principles of Biblical Entrepreneurship (BE I), Practices of Biblical Entrepreneurship (BE II), and Planning a Kingdom Business (BE III). To learn more about how NPIM launches entrepreneurs into their God-designed destiny, please visit www.nehemiahproject.org.