Another thing we can keep in mind is that God’s purpose in giving is not only to bless us, but also that we should then be able to bless others. It’s a principle at least as old as God’s promises to Abraham who was “blessed to be a blessing”: “… I will bless you … and you will be a blessing … all peoples on earth will be blessed through you” (Genesis 12:2-3).
David spoke of this same reciprocal giving: “But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand” (1 Chronicles 29:14).
So the principle of giving is clear, but do we just give when we encounter need or when we are asked - or do we plan our giving actively? I have known a number of individuals who not only decided to follow the Old Testament principle of giving ten percent of their income, but also, ten percent of their time – freeing up approximately an hour and a half of their waking lives to serve others in some way each day. Or they served in some career that aided others ten percent of an approximate lifespan. All these people were greatly blessed in their lives and brought blessings to others.
We may feel we are not able to fully follow such a principle in our own circumstances, but if the love of the God who gave and continues to richly give is within us, we too will be giving. If we plan to give, and look for ways we can share our time and resources rather than waiting till the needs of others look us in the face, we can probably all give more. The “planned giving” some people are able to arrange as a way to give through will and estate distribution may be good, but perhaps the best planned giving we can all engage in is planning what we can do to give of what we have, and of ourselves, now.
Note: TacticalChristianity.org and its sister site LivingWithFaith.org do not accept gifts or contributions, but we teach the responsibility and opportunity of giving.