Giving is personal. I believe it to be one of the most sincere and personal things a person can do. I am not speaking solely on monetary terms. To imply that would be a huge mistake on my part. It would reveal a bad theology on my behalf as well. I totally believe that giving is birthed out from the heart. It is also something produced by the Holy Spirit. We were given the Holy Spirit out of love. Jesus told us in John 16:7 that He himself would send the Advocate. He wanted to make it clear  what the Third Person of the Holy Trinity would do upon arrival. He said  “When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future.[1]” The Holy Spirit was given to us. He is the one who teach us how to give.

Lewis Sperry Chafer thinking on Ef. 5:18-20 once wrote: “All things are working together for good to the child of God, and it is reasonable that he should give thanks always for all things. This can be done through the Spirit who knows the “all things” of God.[2]” Let’s link both ideas now. The Holy Spirit was freely given to us on the moment of salvation (Eph. 1:13). According to Jesus’ words the Spirit will guide us into all truth[3]. Therefore the Holy Spirit teaches proper giving to us, and He is the one who enable us to give thanks to the Father for everything as Ephesians 5:20 instruct us. So giving is a spiritual thing. It is something that is generated within us, and is motivated by the Spirit, as He is the one who guides us into all truth. That is the reason why saying that giving is all about finances reflects a bad theology. Giving is personal. That is the reason why Jesus told us in Mt. 6:4 that our gifting should be done in secret. It is something we do moved and led by the Spirit. He is the one who instruct us in all good things. Unfortunately, sometimes we get it wrong and adulation steps in. So often I’ve found myself doing and giving simply because it will open doors, it would help to my reputation, people would think how good person I am. Truth be told: that is impure-hearted giving. Pure-hearted giving is when the giving is moved and  is lead by the Spirit; knowing that the God who sees in secret knows exactly the reason of our giving: to honor Him. That is why Jesus told his disciples: that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.[4] There is reward waiting for us as a result of our giving. But giving should not be done expecting the reward Jesus spoke of. I do not know if the reward will be in financial terms, it could be, but enough to believe that the reward will come to us in the form of a blessing. The words the author of Acts wrote so many decades away perfectly suits our discussion “You’ll not likely go wrong here if you keep remembering that our Master said, ‘You’re far happier giving than getting.’”[5] I think that happiness comes out of knowing that we’re not only obeying God but actually we become instruments of God’s grace through our giving, whether it is time or money that we give.

 The author of Ephesians warns us to: “Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.[6]” We are called to live a godly life and we are to conduct ourselves wisely. We are even call to make the most of every single opportunity that may arise in front of us. Let us make the most of every opportunity we have to give by giving away, rather our time or goods, happily and secretly. What I mean by giving away secretly is not boasting about it, that the motive of our giving be driven and led by the Spirit, not by our selfish need for recognition from our peers.

 


 

[1] Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation, 3rd ed. (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007), Jn 16:13.

[2] Lewis Sperry Chafer, He That Is Spiritual (Moody Press: Chicago, 1918), 52.

[3] Tyndale House Publishers, Holy Bible: New Living Translation, 3rd ed. (Carol Stream, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2007), Jn 16:13.

[4] The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Mt 6:4.

[5] Eugene H. Peterson, The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language (Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005), Ac 20:35.

[6] The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Eph 5:15–16.