Salespeople have a mantra that they use to help motivate their interactions with customers — “ABC: Always Be Closing.” It’s a reminder that everything they do with a potential client should ultimately lead to making a sale. But for Christians, there’s an even more powerful mantra related to our money — “ABG: Always Be Giving.”
Everything that we have in life comes from God, and He has a plan for how He would like us to handle the resources that He has allocated to us. God’s plan includes things like providing for our families and tithing to support our local churches. In addition to that, though, God wants us to be big givers, helping to take care of the poor and bless people around us.
How much of a role should generosity play in our financial lives? If we study the Bible, we find that God wants us to give as much as we can, as often as we can. ABG: Always Be Giving.
For a scriptural teaching on this subject, we turn again to II Corinthians 9:6-11 (perhaps the Bible’s best passage on giving):
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 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. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
We’ve talked before about the Law of Sowing and Reaping; now, let’s look at what the passage says about how often we should give. Verse 8 tells us that God blesses us abundantly, “so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
You may have heard it said before that we are blessed to be a blessing, and that’s exactly what this passage is telling us. God blesses us abundantly, but not so that we can have a lot of stuff. Rather, He wants us to be well provided for, so that we can in turn give, bless and abound in good works.
In what circumstances? “In all things.” How often? “At all times.” ABG: Always Be Giving.
Verse 11 spells it out even more clearly: “You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.”
On what occasions should we be generous? “On every occasion.” ABG: Always Be Giving.
Why is it so important for us to do this? It’s not just about meeting people’s needs or blessing people. It’s because our generosity glorifies God, and points other people to him. “Your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” ABG: Always Be Giving.
The way that we handle our money can have a profound impact on the Kingdom of God. Although you may never know it, a gift that you give in generosity can help to lead a broken person back to Jesus. How much money is that worth to you?
Of course, we have to be responsible in our giving — we shouldn’t be giving away what God intended to provide for our families, or what He intends for us to tithe. But beyond that, giving is our top financial priority as Christians. It’s not just something we do at Christmas time, or when we hear about someone in need. Rather, it should be a lifestyle that we develop. Because every time we give, we help people in need, and point them in direction of Christ.
If you take only one thing away from what you read here today, I hope it will be this: ABG. Always Be Giving.
Photo by the U.S. Navy. Used under Creative Commons License.