“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.” 2 Corinthians 9:8
In continuing our study on Biblical principles of giving, we come to number 4: God blesses us to be a blessing to others. Now, the prosperity-theology folks jump all over these verses (2 Corinthians 9:8-11). In taking them out of context, they develop what has become a false interpretation of the Gospel called the “gospel of greed.” In other words, these verses have been twisted to teach a give to get mentality. It’s a self-focused, greed-oriented mindset that is completely contrary to Jesus’ teaching.
The TRUE meaning behind these verses is all about putting ourselves in God’s shoes. If you entrust financial resources to a person who is a good money manager, someone who’s learning to be generous in the way God teaches us to be, then it makes sense that more financial resources would be entrusted to that individual. The more that trustworthy person has, the more he or she can be a blessing to others through generous giving. That’s the meaning behind these often misunderstood verses.
It’s not giving to God in order to get for ourselves. It’s about giving to God and knowing that He will bless us to be a blessing – perhaps even a greater blessing – to others in the future. And while giving does NOT make someone a Jesus follower, giving generously and joyfully certainly demonstrates that faith.
Jesus says in Matthew 6:21, “Where your treasure is there your heart will be also.” In other words, if you want to know what’s important to a person, take a look at his or her bank statement. Our priorities are revealed by what take up most of our time and financial resources.
Jesus knew that the biggest barrier to trusting God completely will usually be our relationship with money. And in most of our lives, even in the church, we too often place more trust in our money, job, or bank account than we do in God. One way to combat this is through generosity. So, how will you live and give generously this week?