24 Oct 12 Bible Verses About Giving: Why is it Important to Be Charitable
In theory, everyone knows that being charitable is a good thing.
If you approached someone in the street — or even a member of your congregation — and asked them why it’s important to give back, what do you think they would say?
Perhaps the most common answer would be, “Because it’s the right thing to do.”
Yet, the word charitable can be a bit abstract. Let’s break it down. It simply means to be kind, forgiving, and generous which sounds a lot like Jesus. Being charitable is reflecting Christ to the world.
So, if you’re having a tough time relaying why giving matters for your congregation — whether it’s donating their time and money to a good cause, or tithing for their church — here are 12 Bible verses to help you relay the importance of being charitable.
12 Bible Verses About Giving
1. 2nd Corinthians 9:7
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
This Corinthians verse is a great one that goes into the proper mindset you should have when giving. When people give reluctantly or simply because they are told to, it isn’t as powerful of an act as giving because you want to.
‘God loves a cheerful giver,’ the verse reads. So, when teaching on the importance of giving, make sure to address that when you’re giving — no matter the form it takes — your heart should be in it.
2. Proverbs 18:16
“A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.”
The most charitable among us are welcomed into the “presence of the great.” An important part to note in this proverb is the fact that it says “gift.” Singular.
Every single act of charity or giving is just as important as the next. You don’t have to give 24/7 to be in the presence of the great. A single gift that can help improve someone’s life is a powerful act — and the more often you give back, the more lives you’ll positively impact.
3. Proverbs 11:25
“A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.”
While depending on who you ask, this proverb may have a different meaning. Especially when it comes to the word, “refreshed.”
One way to interpret the meaning is that generous people prosper in terms of being more connected to God. In addition, the word “refreshed” may be hinting at the feeling of joy and contentment one experiences when being charitable.
When we are charitable, you just feel good afterward. However, when giving, it’s important to be modest and humble, as the next verse addresses.
4. Matthew 6:2
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”
Sure, when a large corporation makes a giant donation to a good cause, they are doing a lot of good.
But, when they use it as a marketing tactic to promote their business and “announce it with trumpets”, the gesture is stripped of some of its goodness.
When you are being charitable, don’t make a big show of it and tell all your friends and neighbors. Instead, be discreet about it and know that simply helping someone or supporting a good cause is enough.
5. Matthew 6:3-4
“But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”
This is another verse that speaks on not boasting about your charity — and is also perhaps one of the more well-known verses on giving in the Bible.
This verse from Matthew also ends with a powerful note, stating that when you give in secret, God will see what is done even when no one else has, and will reward you. Those that give will be welcomed into Heaven with open arms.
6. Psalm 37:21
“The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously.”
This verse is fairly cut and dry and can essentially be boiled down to, “don’t be selfish.”
In the Bible, the word “righteous” and being considered righteous is held in very high regard. One of the key attributes of those who are righteous is that they give generously.
Remember, generously doesn’t mean you have to give everything you have. It just means you should be charitable within your means.
That is an important point to clarify with your congregation.
7. Proverbs 3:27
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.”
Some people just need help. It’s that simple.
And, when you do have the power to act, do not keep that power to yourself, but instead, go out and be charitable.
This is a great verse that speaks on giving within your means.
8. Proverbs 31:9
“Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Perhaps one of the most powerful of all giving verses, Proverbs 31:9 is a great verse to turn to that truly speaks on the importance of giving.
It acts more of a command than anything — demanding that we all speak up against injustice in the world and judge others fairly and without bias — as well as encouraging us to defend those who cannot defend themselves.
9. 1st Chronicles 29:14
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.”
The core of this verse hits on the idea that everything we have comes from God, and it is already his. This includes our finances. The financial wealth we have is a direct gift from God, and in turn, we should give what we have been given to those in need.
10. 2nd Corinthians 8:12
“For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.”
Ultimately, giving financially is only one way of giving. For those who have money to be generous with, it is good for them to give. Fortunately, if you don’t have the money you can still give your time, your skilled labor, open your home, provide food, etc. Giving is good for you, so give from what you have when you are able.
11. Luke 6:38
“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”
The idea here is that giving is a gift that gives back. It’s a similar idea to reaping what you sew – not necessarily in a literal sense, but in practice. A generous heart appreciates what it has, and has been given by God. And people are more likely to give to a person who has been generous with them.
12. Proverbs 3:9
“Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops”
This one is simple – honor the Lord with what he has given you. Giving is just one way we can honor him with our possessions. Putting our resources to good use, for the sake of the church, our communities, and the benefit of others is how we honor him.
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3 More Bible Verses About Giving + Bible Stories About Giving to Relay to Your Congregation
As you can see, there are plenty of Bible verses about giving—all of which are great verses to share with your congregation. Another great way to teach your congregation about why it’s important to be charitable is through stories within the Bible. For more on giving, checkout our post on online donation statistics.
Here are 3 great stories of generosity within the Bible that are perfect for illustrating why giving is essential in everyone’s lives.
Luke 10:25-37 The Good Samaritan
- We must all love our neighbors
- Our neighbor is everyone on this planet, regardless of whether or not we get along
- Turning your back on those in need is no way to live a life
One day, a religious expert asks Jesus how to achieve eternal life. Jesus responds to the man, asking him what does the law say? The man replies, “You must love the Lord, your God with all your heart and mind. And love your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus tells him he is correct and that if he does all those things, he will achieve life. But the man is not satisfied with this, inquiring Jesus about who his neighbor is that he must love.
To illustrate what it means to love your neighbor, Jesus tells the story of a Jewish man who is traveling by himself from Jerusalem to Jericho. On his way there, he is attacked and robbed by bandits. Laying clothless on the ground and hurt badly, the Jewish man is unable to get up and seek help on his own.
Soon, a priest walks by but pretends to ignore the helpless man and walks by him on the opposite side of the road. Another person, this time a Levite who worked in a temple, comes across the injured man, and he too decides to leave him for dead.
Eventually, a Samaritan comes along. Even though Samaritans were hated by Jews, he understood that the man on the road, beaten and stripped of his clothes, needed help. So, the Samaritan cleaned his wounds using olive oil and wine and bandaged them up. The Samaritan placed the man on his donkey and took him to an inn, paying for his lodging and telling the innkeeper to look after him.
This story illustrates that your neighbor is everyone, regardless of whether you get along all the time or don’t even know the person. When it comes to being generous, we should be looking to help all those in need.
Mark 10:17-22 The Rich Young Ruler
- Do not be oblivious of your ability to give
- We should always be giving within our means
- Loving God and wealth equally equates to worshipping false gods
It is said in the story of the Rich Young Ruler that as it is impossible for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, it is impossible for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of heaven. Taken literally, one would think that anyone with wealth would not be able to reach the Kingdom of God. However, that’s not the takeaway from this story.
In this parable, the Rich Young Ruler approaches Jesus, asking what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus says, you follow the Ten Commandments and obey the Word of God, but you lack one thing.
Jesus tells the Rich Young Ruler to “Go, sell all that you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.”
Jesus was telling the man that when we hoard our wealth and worship money and possessions, we are cutting into our love and admiration for the Lord. One should not be hoarding our wealth for our own benefit, and should instead be giving to ensure that we can help those in need—especially when the alternative is living a life of excess. Essentially, we should all be giving within our means.
Luke 9:3 and 10:4 Called Giver
- Like Jesus’ disciples, we are expected to be generous in our lives as his followers
- Sacrificing time, money, and effort to help those in need is something we all must do
- We are called to support Jesus out of our means and, at times, giving up what we have
Luke tells us about the extreme giving request of Jesus, calling his early disciples (over 80 of them) to give up everything they have for a mission trip. He tells them to go out and share the good news and to help people with their needs. But, they must only give and take nothing—not a dime or a change of clothes, and no food either.
This request illustrates the lengths we must go to be generous. While sometimes giving in the name of the Lord is as simple as donating money to a good cause, it can also be as extensive as spending a day building a new home for a charity or a month-long mission trip. The key is to be generous throughout our lives.
Next time giving and generosity comes up at your church, make sure to mention those 12 Bible verses about giving, as well as these Bible stories about generosity.
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