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.” (Acts 20:35)
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:
- Giving reflects God’s character
- Giving is commanded
- Giving makes you happy
- Giving makes you healthier and live longer
- Giving expresses your trust in God
- Giving advances the Kingdom of God
Continue reading below to gain valuable insights and find scriptures to support each biblical principal.
1. Giving reflects God’s character
God is a giver.
Giving is rooted in his character.l
We observe God’s giving nature throughout the Bible. But it’s painted clearly in God giving the gift of his son—the Lord 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.
2. Giving is commanded
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:
- Exodus 25:2: "Tell the Israelites to bring Me an offering. You are to receive My offering from every man whose heart compels him."
- Deuteronomy 15:10: “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.”
- Romans 12:8: “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.”
- 2 Corinthians 9:7: “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 tithing in the bible and offerings.
3. Giving makes you happy
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.
4. Giving makes you healthier and live longer
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:
- Lower blood pressure
- Reduced stress
- Increased life expectancy
- Lower risk of dementia
- Less anxiety
- Reduced heart disease
As you exercise and eat nutritional food, be sure to include giving in your regime to boost your overall health.
5. Giving expresses your trust in God
Remember, 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:
- Knows what you need
- Knows you need food
- Knows you need water
- Knows you need shelter
- Knows you need clothes
Do you believe God will provide for you?
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).
6. Giving advances the Kingdom of God
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.
Is it better to give than to receive?
A thousand times, yes.
It's better to give than to receive.
But remember the words of the Lord. 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.
This post was updated on May 26, 2020 for accuracy and comprehensiveness.