The world sees everything based on numbers. Statistics, percentages, polls are all based on them. Businesses are assessed on the amount of profit they generate. Churches are judged by how big the congregation is and how healthy the budget. We determine ways and means based on percentages of income, or net worth. In the Bible, the Mosaic Law outlines how to give on the basis of one tenth, or a tithe.
In the spiritual realm, we assess the amount of fruit God is blessing us with, and how much we praise and glorify Him for His work. Growth is an absolute essential in our relationship with God, whether in personal growth, or growth measured in terms of what is accomplished through the work that we do. The sower sows the seed to produce a harvest from his labour, even though he knows it is God Who is Lord of the Harvest. All that is accomplished is because of Him and through Him. He gets the glory. Numbers have their place in the stewardship of our money too. They are another indicator of how well we are doing spiritually. Yet we often hold back our resources. When God’s people were called to finance the building of God’s house in the Old Testament, we see the following:
I Chronicles 29:9 (KJV):
“Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the LORD: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.”
Imagine giving not only from a willing heart, but gladly and with joy. Generosity means big heartedness, liberality, open-heartedness, unselfishness. But it’s not the amount you give; it’s how you give—attitude not aptitude— that is important in God’s eyes. Those who have an open-heartedness for giving to God liberally see the amount as secondary.
What happens when this kind of giving takes place? Blessings all around. We are blessed in knowing we have pleased God with our earthly treasure. Our open-handed attitude demonstrates that He owns it all. The beneficiaries are blessed. God’s work and His people are blessed, and ultimately God is glorified. And we witness together the abundant blessings that come from this financial sowing. We see the harvest, and His Kingdom grows as souls are saved, believers baptized, missionaries sent, broken lives healed, and the world changed.
The Bible says that when we do not give we rob God: Malachi 3:8-10 (KJV):
“Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, Wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offerings. Ye are cursed with a curse: for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation. Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
We not only rob God, but we rob ourselves. We rob ourselves of experiencing the excitement of engaging in the blessing and harvest of God’s work. We rob ourselves of showing others what it means to have a financial plan that invests in eternal Kingdom business and one that brings returns in spiritual growth. We rob ourselves of letting God bless us in more ways than we can imagine. Our giving truly works hand-in-hand with our spiritual growth.