Jason Demland

August 11, 2023

Giving Breaks the Power of Money

Generosity is linked to happiness (reviews of studies here, here, & here), and it should be obvious that is the case: We are created for community and to love our neighbor.

41 Now Jesus sat opposite the treasury and saw how the people put money into the treasury. And many who were rich put in much. 42 Then one poor widow came and threw in two mites, which make a quadrans. 43 So He called His disciples to Himself and said to them, “Assuredly, I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all those who have given to the treasury; 44 for they all put in out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty put in all that she had, her whole livelihood.”

The New King James Version (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982), Mk 12:41–44.

From a biblical worldview I have the philosophy that everything we have is given to us by our Creator and belongs to Him. We are stewards of His gracious gifts; therefore giving generously is a tangible way to reflect that idea and to remind ourselves of that truth.

When we give we don’t do so to receive. We aren’t to be like the rich folks that Jesus saw at the temple. We don’t seek acclaim or reward. We’re not doing it to be seen by people who will then think “Man, that guy sure is generous! I bet he’s a really good person.”

We give because it’s objectively good and right. The benefit we are granted through this process is the privilege of being a part of the proper order of the universe, where God alone is glorified.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Giving Wisely Means More Giving

Our motivation for giving is not receiving, but we do live in a society that recognizes and incentivizes giving through the tax code. 501(c)(3) organizations exist. Charitable contribution tax deductions exist.

Giving generously is rightly motivated by gratitude overflowing from thankful hearts for the forgiveness of sins and imputation of righteousness we receive by grace through faith in Jesus Christ.

Giving wisely is subordinate to this and something that can be done with diligence and effort. But is it worth the effort and work if it’s not the impetus for giving?

Resoundingly, I answer YES! Because it can mean more giving!

So do not be put off by the complexity of the tax code and the work involved to move money about in order to maximize your generosity. Be motivated by the same gratitude that causes you to give regularly to your church, the local homeless shelter, the women’s health resource, the food panty, or whatever charity is on your heart.

Generous people are happier and giving breaks the power of money because it reminds us of the much bigger picture, yes, even the entire meaning of life.