Christians should be characterised by generosity, with their love and with their money. They’re called to imitate Jesus, who gave up his very life.
Don’t give to impress others
People often give to charities publicly so that people will think they’re generous. Jesus says we should be interested in pleasing God, not people. We should be giving in secret. Don’t we all live much of our lives trying to impress others? The temptation is to try to show off with our money. Christians should do all that we do to be seen by the Lord God. It is okay to talk to other Christians about our giving. Sometimes we like to use this as an excuse to be selfish and to not be accountable. The point that Jesus is making is that we should always do it for God, not to impress others.
Give generously to show your love for God and his church
Old Testament tithing is a good starting point, but the New Testament talks about generosity. That is the pattern we should follow – extravagant generosity. We are to have faith that the Lord will provide. Jesus says in v19 not to store up treasure on earth, but in heaven. That is the truth that shaped the widow who gave all the she had. It’s to shape all Christians in all contexts and in all situations.
Give generously to grow your love for God and his church
The very act of giving is what we grow our love for God and his church. If you give generously to your church, you will see your love grow for the people there. It might mean not having holidays you want, or the car you want. As we give generously we are depending on God, not on our savings. Do you rely on Jesus more than on money? If so, you’ll be a generous giver, because you’re living more for heaven than on earth.