Today we are bombarded with news on TV and social media of how the coronavirus pandemic has affected the global economy and our personal finances.
Since this has been ongoing for almost two months now, we either quickly hit the remote and refuse to look, or we become desensitized or immune to what we watch thinking that we are all in the same situation right now and we are also affected.
When you see people struggling more than you do, do you quickly close the door of your heart, and turn off the emotional switch, or have you ever thought of getting involved?
The fact is you can’t respond to all of the world’s maladies.
But when God puts someone’s need directly in front of you, you hear a small voice within your heart saying,
“Look, God won’t hold you responsible for what you can’t do, but He does hold you accountable for what you can do, and you can do something about this need so DO IT and do it NOW.”
Friend, when you stumble across a need, do what you can – neither more nor less, and when you do what you can, that will be enough.
Am I Capable of Giving?
If you have food on your table, clothes on your back, a roof over your head, and a place to sleep tonight, you are richer than 75% of the rest of the people in the world.
If you have money in the bank, as well as in your wallet or purse, and change in a piggy bank, you are among an elite 8% of the world’s population.
If you are eager to give, God will accept your gift on the basis of what you have to give, not on what you don’t have. – 2 Corinthians 8:12
With very unworldly wisdom He said that the more you give, the larger will be the shovel or the measure of what God gives back to you, being that God is debtor to no one.
Why Should I Give?
“Why should I be concerned about poverty or the plight of those who are financially struggling right now because of the pandemic?”
“I didn’t cause the problems and the lack of financial preparedness that are confronting other people, so why should I give?”
That’s probably what some people would say who seemed to feel that what happens outside their development should be left to someone else to solve.
“Am I my brother’s keeper?” Cain cried out to the Lord, striving to avoid responsibility for Abel’s death.
But how do you respond when somebody asks for your help during this challenging time?
Here are three reasons why we should give no matter what our current situation is…
1. God’s Gift
What you have is a gift from God, a stewardship or a trust that you are responsible for, and how you use it is a matter of concern to God.
Do you say to yourself,
“I earned it. It’s mine to do with what I please; and besides I didn’t cause the poverty and pain in the world so why should I do anything to relieve it?”
But God says,
I am not trying to relieve others by putting a burden on you; but since you have plenty at this time, it is only fair that you should help those who are in need. Then, when you are in need and they have plenty, they will help you. – 2 Corinthians 8:13-14
Who knows? Someday the tables may turn and you may be the very one who is in need of help.
And the reality that what you sow is also what you reap is a centuries-old truth that plays out time and time again.
2. Make a Difference
Another reason why you need to learn to give generously is the fact that there is no reward as significant as knowing your resources and gifts have made a difference in the world.
You put milk in a child’s glass, a smile on his face, and provided a pallet or a bed for him to sleep on.
This is what Jesus said to those who give to the needy…
Whenever you did this for one of the least important of these followers of mine, you did it for me. – Matthew 25:40
Whenever you refused to help one of these least important ones, you refused to help me. – Matthew 25:45
3. God’s Reward
God promises that…
Those who give to the poor will lack nothing. – Proverbs 28:27
Jesus taught that the more you give away, the more you have in the currency of heaven, which can never be taken from you.
How should I give?
How much you give to those in need is never as important as how much you have left for yourself.
Give because you want to, not because you have to. – 2 Corinthians 9:5
You should each give, then, as you have decided, not with regret or out of sense of duty; for God loves the one who gives gladly. – 2 Corinthians 9:7
And God is able to give you more than you need, so that you will always have all you need for yourselves and more than enough for every good cause. – 2 Corinthians 9:8
He will always make you rich enough to be generous at all times, so that many will thank God for your gifts which they receive from us. – 2 Corinthians 9:11
But I have nothing to give…
When it comes to what you give to God, He always asks for what you have – never what you don’t have.
- The widow of a prophet had only a jug of oil, and when she gave it to the Lord, He multiplied it many times over.
- Jesus took a boy’s lunch – all he had, blessed it and fed a multitude of people.
- David had only a lad’s slingshot in his hand, but God used that to bring down the giant.
When you surrender what you have to the Lord, He takes note and blesses those who acknowledge that what they have is a gift from God.
Do you also remember the poor widow who put two small copper coins in the temple offering box?
Truly I tell you, Jesus said, “This poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others.” – Mark 12:43
For the others put in what they had to spare of their riches; but she, poor as she is, put in all she had – she gave all she had to live on. – Mark 12:44
Take inventory and realize that God never asks you for what you do not have, or asks you to do what you cannot do.
What he asks of you, He will return pressed down, shaken together, and running over.
Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. – Luke 6:38
The Fear of Having Not Enough
A very wealthy man was once asked just how much money he needed to be completely satisfied, and his reply was, “Just a little bit more!”
George MacDonald, the British writer who influenced C.S. Lewis, wrote, “It is not the rich man only who is under the dominion of things; they, too, are slaves who having no money are unhappy from it.”
But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. – 1 Timothy 6:9
On another occasion Jesus talked about a man, apparently a good businessman, who tore down his barns to build bigger ones and spoke of him as a fool because he did not realize what he accrued stayed when he died, leaving him spiritually impoverished.
Breaking the grip that money has on your life allows God to give you true riches.
It is the knowledge of how great and vast are God’s resources that takes away your fear of not having enough.
What shall I do with my possessions?
Author Randy Alcorn says that about 15% of everything that Jesus said has to do with your possessions and what you do with them.
To the man identified as a rich young ruler Jesus said, “One thing you lack…
Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. – Mark 10:21
This means turning loose of what most of us cherish the more here on earth (our wealth and security), to be rich in joy and blessing in the Father’s kingdom.
Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. – Luke 12:32-33
Our great possessions are within our heart – ones that could never be taken from us such as the knowledge of God and the hope that only He can provide.
One person pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth. – Proverbs 13:7
Do you trust God?
When you are entirely dependent upon heaven’s riches, you are never more secure.
God will provide all your needs according His riches in glory through Christ Jesus. – Philippians 4:19
Your attitude towards money tells a great deal about your true wealth – not the stocks and bonds you have, or the bottom line of a financial statement, but whether or not you are free to give sacrificially and generously that you may be rich in God’s kingdom.
Money can be a powerful tool in making a difference in the suffering of humanity.
Being aware that what you have belongs to the Lord frees you of a great obligation and allows you to become a tool in the hands of God.
Source: Strength for Today and Bright Hope for Tomorrow by Harold J. Sala
Note: I copied my favorite verses and reflections in the book to remind myself of the importance of giving and sharing. When things get tough, I sometimes forget that there are people who are struggling more than I do and I refuse to help or extend a hand. This post is a reminder for me to be more selfless and generous to others. I hope it helps you too.
If God speaks to you as you read this, think of how you can help and give to others – not with what you don’t have, but with what you have in your hands right now.
It may not necessarily be money, maybe a word of encouragement to those who need it during this difficult time, can be a big help to them.
May God bless you and keep you and your family safe always.
Updated March 14, 2021: You may watch this video about giving by Edric Mendoza at the CCF Sunday Service.