The Joy of Giving: How the Practice of Giving Draws the Heart to God
By Ion Stuck
Our God is a God of abundance and God loves to give. God willingly sacrificed his Son on the cross and invited us into the fullness of life. As God’s children, we are called to imitate God. Our generosity in giving is a demonstration of God’s character and a response to what God has done for us. Christians are a light to the world. As we become more and more whom God has called us to be – more like God – we reflect God more and more. We become more loving, more gracious, and yes more giving. Because God is generous, we are also called to be generous.
“To whom much has been given, much more will be expected.” (Luke 12:48b) Because we have been so freely loved, we love one another. Because we have been forgiven, we forgive others. Our response to God’s abundance with us is to share that abundance with others. When we receive and accept God’s generosity, it humbles us. We realize we are not worthy of God’s gift. Out of gratefulness, we become more gracious with others. We begin to learn the heart of God and want to be more like God.
Generosity has positive effects in human relationships. When one person freely gives to another, the recipient may often “pass forward” the gift. In Christian life the impetus is much greater. Jesus taught us “it is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35b)
Not only does our giving demonstrate God’s character to the world, it results in increased faith for us. When we are willing to give, we declare that our faith does not depend on material possessions. Instead, we show that our faith in God always provides.
Stuck is a former Administrative Assistant to the Treasurer, South Carolina Synod.He is a member of St. John, Pomaria.