In Acts 20:35, we find Paul encouraging the Ephesus elders to “Help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’”.
In God’s economy giving is better than getting. What we provide for others is more significant than what we acquire for ourselves. The words of Jesus flip the world’s “me first” messaging on its head.
How does this work? How is handing out greater than taking in? Let’s look at sixteen different reasons why it truly is better to give than to get:
1. When we give, we reflect God’s incredible generosity.
Every good thing comes from God (James 1:17), including the unfathomable gift of Jesus. Our God is characterized by radical, undeserving generosity. And when we are generous, we reflect His incredible generosity.
2. When we give, we loosen our grip on the material world.
The Bible says we cannot serve both God and money (Matthew 6:24). When we give, our grip on the material world loosens and our grip on what is eternal tightens.
3. When we give, we find greater contentment.
While we regularly regret our purchases, we rarely regret our generosity. 1 Timothy 6:19 says when we give, we find “life that is truly life.” This means we experience the present blessings of following Christ, including contentment. The pursuit and acquiring of material gain only leaves someone wanting more. The pursuit of and acquiring of eternal gain leaves someone content.
4. When we give, we store up eternal treasures.
Matthew 6:19-20 says generosity is an eternal investment that we will one day enjoy. While momentary luster of worldly treasures rapidly deteriorates and vanishes, eternal treasures will remain.
5. When we give, we experience happiness.
Several studies demonstrate individuals’ giving increases happiness. Experientially, most of us can relate. Generosity has a way of producing joy while hoarding often breeds discontentment. This is why you rarely find a miserable, generous person, but we all know a miserable, stingy person.
6. When we give, we are less stressed.
In 1 Timothy 6:17, Timothy is charged to tell the wealthy not to put their hope in the uncertainty of riches. When our hope literally fluctuates with the ups and downs of the stock market, we will inevitably find ourselves stressed. Giving demonstrates we find our hope, not in an investment account, but in the steadfast love of God. And when our hope is sure, our stress is reduced.
7. When we give, we participate in life change.
God doesn’t need our generosity to fulfill His mission. Yet, He invites us to participate in what He is doing in our community and around the world. When we give, God multiplies the gift to mend broken marriages, feed the hungry, and care for the poor. When we give, God allows us to be a part of life change.
8. When we give, we demonstrate an understanding of God’s grace in our lives.
In Luke 8:1-3, we find three women who experienced something miraculous. Their response was to follow Jesus and generously support His earthly ministry. They gave in response to God’s grace in their lives. Such should be the response of every Christian. Why? Because, we’ve experienced the miracle of being brought from death to life.
9. When we give, we showcase the love of God to others.
In a world consumed with a “me first” mentality, people take notice of biblical generosity. Biblical generosity is undeserved generosity, and it showcases the love of God to those in our community.
10. When we give, we are given opportunities to share the gospel.
We give because God gave, and we want others to receive God’s gift as well. Recipients of generosity are often open to hearing about the motivation behind such an act. For believers, this provides the perfect opportunity to tell about the greatest gift ever given—Jesus.
11. When we give, we encourage others to live generously.
Generosity spurs on generosity. As others see our generosity, they are often motivated to live generously as well. A generosity movement that impacts an entire community and beyond can start with just a few individuals stepping out and living generously.
12. When we give, we are following God’s instructions.
The Bible tells us to give. Proverbs 3:9 tells us we are to give our first and our best. Over and over, we see Scripture instructing us to hold loosely the things of this world and store up treasures in heaven. Giving is an act of obedience to God’s calling on our lives.
13. When we give, our hearts become more infatuated with God’s church and its mission.
Matthew 6:21 tells us our heart follows our treasure. When we give to the church and other Kingdom-advancing initiatives, our heart becomes tied to God’s work. We pay more attention to it. We care more about it. And we want to be a part of it more.
14. When we give, God recognizes the sacrifice more than the amount.
In God’s economy, the amount sacrificed always supersedes the amount given. Jesus identified the widow who gave only two coins as the one who gave the most (Luke 21:1-4). Biblical generosity is sacrificial generosity (2 Samuel 24:24). God cares more about what your heart has kept at home than what you place in the offering plate.
15. When we give, we demonstrate our trust in God in a tangible way.
Hoarding resources demonstrates a trust in ourselves—we can take care of ourselves better than God can. Conversely, biblical generosity is an act of trust in God. We give our first and our best, trusting God will do as He says—provide for our needs.
16. When we give, our confidence in God’s promises grows.
Malachi 3:10 says God will pour out blessings on the generous. Proverbs 3:9-10 provides a similar promise. 2 Corinthians 9:8-12 says we will be made rich in every way. The promises tied to Biblical generosity are numerous. God blesses, whether physically or spiritually, those who give generously. As we give, God will make good on his promises, and our confidence in His promises will grow.
Giving truly is better than getting. Encourage your church to put God first in your finances today.