Why Give?

We weren’t born with a desire to give things of value away. It only takes a few minutes watching a two-year old interact with another child to understand that “mine” is our natural response to managing the objects that surround us.

Many followers of Jesus Christ have, over time, learned four basic ‘rules’ regarding the things they posses.

  1. They learn that God is the true owner of everything they have.
  2. That God has entrusted those possessions to us.
  3. That each of us has the opportunity to increase or decrease the value of our possessions over time.
  4. Finally, one day each of us will be called into account for our management of things we were given.
Rooted in the Word

Some folks might try to justify their ever-increasing acquisition of material possessions on Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 25 (he who has the most things wins…). But these verses are not an invitation to possess things of value for the mere purpose of possession; they are a call for us to manage or use wisely the things He allows us to have. A few sentences after Jesus spoke about wise stewardship, He spoke clearly about the imperative for Christian charity:

“For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.” (Matthew 25:35-36)

Far from being a solitary encouragement to be helpful, charity to those in need is consistently mentioned throughout the Old and New Testaments of the Bible. Interestingly, while the Word of God frequently mentions caring for the widow, the child, the stranger, and the poor; the ancient civilizations of Greece and Rome stressed charitable efforts to enhance the quality of community life. Honor was given to those who aided the community at large, versus those who acted kindly toward individuals.

Cultural Trends

United States citizens are fortunate to live in a country that encourages both philanthropic traditions: that of demonstrating Godly stewardship, and of supporting organizations that provide for the charitable good. For more than a century, Americans have read of notable individuals who have given considerable sums of money to build libraries, universities, hospitals, parks and museums.

While these large gifts grab the headlines, fully half of all giving in the United States continues to be in support of religious organizations. Studies show that most givers are not motivated by charitable deduction benefits, but by a desire to make a substantive difference in their community and beyond.

The "Joy of Giving"

Supporting a ministry begins with an attitude of submission. The giver understands that they are merely managers of their assets. One of the ways they demonstrate their gratefulness to God (for all He has done for them) is to give with a cheerful spirit. But giving a “tithe” to a church (the word literally means a “tenth”) is really only the beginning. Many people realize that by giving God the first fruits, and following biblical principles of thrift and wise management, that their material needs are met.

This is truly when many givers begin to realize the “joy of giving.”

  • People, beginning modestly, start supporting a particular ministry that touches their heart.
  • The money wisely given is not “missed” in their personal portfolio.
  • Then, special giving becomes more consistent.
  • Funds are saved for special projects and then joyfully given.
  • People realize that wise charitable giving instead of being a financial burden, can actually be financially liberating.
"Who, Me?"

To the person that asks, “Who, me?” The answer is, “If not you, who else?” Giving is one of the most satisfying ways of demonstrating your love of Christ over possessions and personal gain. The Apostle Paul spoke of those in the church at Philippi who supported his ministry:

“Not that I seek the gift itself, but I seek for the profit which increases to your account.” (Philippians 4:17)

Truly, the accounts books of heaven are filled with many people who have demonstrated their commitment to pleasing their Lord by using what they have been given for His glory. The Faith Legacy Foundation exists to assist people who desire to wisely give of their bounty to increase the reach and ability of the Ministries of Faith.

Questions or Comments?

Contact Arvid Olson at (765) 448-1986.