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Why We Give In The First Place

By Andrea Lucado

 

Most of us are naturally more giving this time of year. All of a sudden, we are buying gifts for other people. We are hyper-attuned to those in need. We are more willing to write checks and give to causes. This is good - it’s wonderful, really. But why do we give? It’s important to know the source of our philanthropy, because giving should really be an act from the heart, not the pocketbook.

 

December is the time of year that we celebrate Christ’s birth. As the renowned words of the prophet Isaiah said:

 

For unto us a Child is born,

Unto us a Son is given;

And the government will be upon His shoulder.

And His name will be called

Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. (Isaiah 9:6)

 

“A Son is given.” Given. Jesus was a gift to us. Because we have been given Christ, we also give. He is the source of our philanthropy. Nothing more. Nothing less.

 

When we look at Christ’s life on earth, he gave consistently. He gave healing. He gave hope. He gave love. And eventually, he gave his own life. Why? Because “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). Christ gave to show us his love.

 

Giving is rooted in love, and Christian love is different from mainstream, feel-good love. Christian love is incredibly sacrificial in nature. Jesus explained that in John 15:13, and with his death on the cross. This truth is reiterated later in scripture: “This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him” (1 John 4:7,10-11). God showed his love for us by giving us His son.

 

When we are truly giving, we are doing so as a response to God’s love. It is not an obligatory, Christmas-time donation. It is an overflow of something that’s already in us.

 

We want to spend some time this month exploring giving and what the Bible has to say about it. We give money, but we can also give other things, like our time, talents, and gifts. No matter what you are giving, the most important thing is to know where your giving is coming from. When it’s not rooted in the love of Christ, we can resent our giving. We can give reluctantly, or we can refuse to give at all.

 

On the other hand, when we are giving from the abundance of love that’s been given to us, we always feel like there is enough. We don’t fear, but we give freely and with joy. We give because Christ was given to us. We love because Christ first loved us. For this reason, when we give, others experience the love of Christ.   

 

Our study on the Gospel of John talks more about Jesus’ life and his love and sacrifice. You can learn more about it here.

 

If you would like to give to Greater Than Gold this year, your gift will provide Bible studies for our prison ministry partners and our overseas missions partners. You can learn more about that here.