How Amazon Changed Church Giving Forever
Amazon (and eCommerce) has changed church giving forever. Here's what you need to know and how your church can respond before you get left behind.
January 22, 2020
Is it better to give than to receive? Here are six biblical and scientific reasons why giving is better than receiving.
December 10, 2019
One-liners can be helpful (or funny).
They can pack a punch of insightful wisdom.
But the impact of these statements can be lost with time and repetition.
One such one-liner that has lost its influence is “it is more blessed to give than to receive.”
This statement is more than a catchy cliche.
It’s found in the Bible (Acts 20:35), and it’s chock-full of a ton of truth.
Here are six reasons why it’s better to give than to receive.
God is a giver.
Giving is rooted in his character.
We observe God’s giving nature throughout the Bible. But it’s painted clearly in God giving the gift of his son—Jesus Christ.
Take a look at these verses:
"For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whosever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).
“But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom. 5:8).
“He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32).
“In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:9-10).
What’s the point?
We give because God gave.
Giving is one way we reflect God’s character.
God’s commandments are good.
They’re good for you, and they’re good for other people.
God’s commandments can be turned into legalism (a way to earn salvation) or used to manipulate other people. But at the end of the day, God revealed commandments for us to follow so that we may glorify and enjoy him forever.
Giving not only reflects God’s character.
Giving is something that’s also commanded by God.
Here are a few verses pointing out this reality:
"Tell the Israelites to bring Me an offering. You are to receive My offering from every man whose heart compels him."
“Give generously to him, and do not let your heart be grieved when you do so. And because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything to which you put your hand.”
“if it is encouraging, let him encourage; if it is giving, let him give generously; if it is leading, let him lead with diligence; if it is showing mercy, let him do it cheerfully.”
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
For more on this topic, read this post about tithes and offerings.
There’s nothing wrong with being happy.
But how you pursue happiness may be all wrong.
For many people (maybe you?), they try to find happiness by spending money. Whether it’s buying new clothes, getting a bigger house, or taking an expensive trip, it’s easy to believe that spending money will satisfy your soul. But this satisfaction will only last as long as the transaction. Consumerism is an eternally insatiable appetite you cannot fulfill.
Here’s the deal:
You are hard-wired to give.
You are created in the image of a Giver. Therefore, the desire to give is rooted in your very being. So it makes sense that when you give you will be happy.
Besides, it's scientifically proven that giving makes you happy.
Giving is good for your health and life expectancy.
Many studies have shown that generous people tend to be healthier.
Giving (money and time) is linked to many positive benefits:
As you exercise and eat nutritional food, be sure to include giving in your regime to boost your overall health.
God is your provider.
From the air you breathe to the money you make, the Lord provides you with what you need.
As you give, you express your faith in God.
In Matthew 6, we see that God:
Do you believe God will provide you with what you need?
Let me shoot you straight:
Giving is one way in how you express your trust in him.
As you give, you are expressing your faith in God’s provision for you.
Punch fear in the face.
Take a step of faith.
Give from what you have—not from what you don’t have.
God will give you the grace you need to become a generous giver (2 Cor. 8:7).
You support many businesses every day.
You help them to make a profit, keep their lights on, and pay their employees.
How do you do this?
By purchasing their products or services.
What does this have to do with God’s Kingdom?
In the way your purchases support a business, your donations and the time you volunteer support the work of your local church.
You can participate in the advancement of God’s work by giving money and volunteering your time with your local church.
A thousand times, yes.
It's better to give than to receive.
What this statement from Acts 20:35 is emphasizing is that it’s better to give than to continue to amass wealth. There are times when you’ll be in a better financial position to give more to your local church (time and money), and there will be times when you’ll need to focus on saving or paying off debt.
In the end, by the grace of God, strive to reflect God’s generous character by being a generous giver with what you have.