555 Difficult Bible Questions Answered

431. What is "the Blessing of Giving"?

The generous heart is commended in many passages in the Scripture, and especially where that generosity has the poor for its object We are told to remember the poor (see Lev. 25:3s; Deu. 15 7), to be a helper to the fatherless (see Ps. 68:5; Ps. 10:14), and" the widow (Is. 1:17), to visit those in affliction (James 1:27), and let them share our abundance (Deu. 14:29); and many blessings are promised to those who do these things. The bountiful are especially blessed wherever they give to any worthy cause or person (Deu. 15 :10). Remember also that remarkable promise, "He that hath pity on the poor lendeth to the Lord" (see Prov. 19:17). It is a fine thing to lay up treasure in heaven, and we can do this only by doing God's work with the means at our disposal here. If we use his gifts for our own indulgence and pleasure, it will profit us nothing in the end; but if we apply them to his glory and the benefit of our fellow beings who need help more than we do, we shall then be doing his work, and shall receive his approval. In II Cor. 8:12 the apostle speaks of the cheerfulness and willingness with which believers should give to the Lord's work. He does not limit the giving to a tenth, but urges them to give freely and to spare not, that their abundance may make up for the lack in others. The widow's mite (Luke 213, 4) was the largest offering, in a sense, for she gave all she had, and her faith and generosity were commended above those that gave far richer gifts. There are many worthy people who practice tithing and we would not dissuade them, and there are others who do not limit their gifts to a tenth, but exceed it, and they, too, are worthy of commendation. God looks at the spirit of the gift more than at the gift itself. There are cases in which a tenth might work hardship and, on the other hand, there are many where a tenth would be a small offering.