7 Important Lessons About Giving Money
In second Corinthians nine, Paul talks about money using an example of a farmer planting seed.
I want to point out seven, very practical, very important lessons about money from this text.
1) There are two purposes for seed.
This first point is a very important point. You can’t be a successful farmer without recognizing and following both purposes for the seed that God provides (2 Cor 9:10). Some seed has to be used for making bread so that a farmer can eat, and some seed has to be sowed so that there will be more seed for the future.
The same is true of money. God gives money for living (like food/bread) and enjoyment (1 Tim 6:17), and he also gives money to “sow” or give to God.
Is some of your money set aside for giving and some for daily needs?
2) God is specific about how much to give without giving specific numbers.
He starts off by saying that “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully (2 Cor 9:6). But how much should we give? He doesn’t give a number. He lays out guidelines (2 Cor 9:7) and then tells us what he loves:
- Each one must give as he has decided in his heart
- Each one must not give reluctantly or under compulsion
- God loves a cheerful giver
If we don’t give – we’re disobeying. If we do give but the motive’s wrong – we’re disobeying. So how do we do it right? We remember that God loves a cheerful giver.
3) If you give you’ll have more than enough.
Two of the biggest lies in giving are that you can’t give anything because you don’t have enough or if you do give you won’t have enough. Both are false. Paul says that “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.” (2 Cor 9:8)
- All grace abounding
- All sufficiency
- All things
- All times
- Abounding in every good work
Wow. That’s pretty inclusive
4) God will multiply your seed and increase your righteousness harvest.
When we give/sow, God multiplies our seed/money for sowing and increases the harvest of our righteousness. So God multiplies the harvest (more seed/money) produced from the initial seed we sowed, and of that harvest he increases the amount of seed/money for sowing/giving.
He gives us more money for giving. This is especially awesome considering the fact that there’s more pleasure in giving than receiving (Acts 20:35).
5) God enriches us for the purpose of being generous in every way.
Paul says that “you will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way” (2 Cor 9:11). Our enrichment goes beyond just money. He promises to enrich us for the purpose of generousity in every way – not just one way, not many ways, but every way.
6) Giving results in supplying needs, thanksgiving, and God being glorified.
And if all that wasn’t good enough, the end result is the needs of the saints supplied, many thanksgivings to God, and God being glorified (2 Cor 9:12-13) fulfilling God’s command in 1 Cor 10:31: “whatever you do, do all to the glory of God”, and the purpose for which we were created (Is 43:7).
7) Giving is part of the submission that comes from confessing the Gospel.
Anyone can confess with their lips the gospel of Christ, but true belief in one’s heart will produce a life submitted to God (2 Cor 9:13), including one’s finances, in cheerful generosity. Paul calls this “the surpassing grace of God upon you” (2 Cor 9:14) and gives thanks for this “inexpressible gift” (2 Cor 9:15).
Are you taking part in this “inexpressible gift” of giving (sowing)? Or are you settling only for the lesser pleasure of receiving?
Submitting to God in cheerful generosity is really living and God loves it. Do it and be blessed.
(Image Credit: The Library of Congress)
About Josh Christophersen
Josh is a software engineer, church planter, and blogger with a passion for helping people do their life well. He lives in KC with his wife and 7 kids.