How to Give God’s Way

Giving Hands

Some people love this season of giving; some endure it and others just wish it would go away.  Whichever camp you fall in, I believe that giving God’s way will bump up the quality of your holidays.

Joe”, you may be thinking, “where do you get off presuming you know God’s ways?

Good question.  There are volumes I don’t know about God, so I will trust His word to show a few of the ways He gives.

God gives sacrificially.

For God loved the world so much that He gave His one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16

While we cannot fathom the depth of God’s sacrificial gift, we can nevertheless give sacrificially.  How?  By giving gifts of time: a commodity we all have the same amount of.   Consider:

  • A homemade gift.  Whatever your skill level and whatever the gift, it will require some of your time.
  • A service.  Whether it be baby sitting for new parents or yard work for a senior citizen, print out a nice coupon for that service.  Then, follow up to make sure the recipient actually gets the service you offered.
  • Visit. Do you know a widow or widower who is starved for a conversation or a hug?  I know. You don’t have the time.  That is the point.  We are talking sacrifice.

God personalizes each gift.

In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well….”  Rom 12:6

This one, for me, is tough.  I am not copping out; simply stating that empathy is not my strong suit.   My wife, on the other hand, has the ability to look inside other people, perceive what makes them tick, and give the exactly perfect gift which aligns with who that person is.  She gives like God gives.  I am working on it.

God gives gifts that meet emotional and spiritual needs.

May God give you more and more mercy, peace, and love.” Jude 1:2

So how do we give such gifts?  Let me ask:

  • What relationships in your life are strained or broken?
  • Who do you need to forgive?
  • Who do you need to ask forgiveness from?

The best gift you can give some people in your life is to offer reconciliation.  Of course there are no guarantees that your offer will be accepted, but you won’t know until you try.  God fully knew that most of us would reject his offer of reconciliation with Him, but He makes it anyway.  Give it a try.

God gives out of love.

But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Rom 5:8

Giving from a sense of obligation or duty is not love.  If you can’t muster up love for your recipients, ask God to give you His love for them.  He will gladly oblige you.

God gives unexpectedly…and without fanfare.

God places the lonely in families; He sets the prisoners free and gives them joy. But He makes the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.”  Psa 68:6

Think outside the box.  Consider:

  • A $100 tip for your waiter or waitress.
  • Giving your second car (or third car) to a single mom who can use it more than you do.
  • Offering to pay a struggling student’s tuition costs or book fees.
  • Paying the adoption fees for a couple who aspire to adopt.

God gives consistently.

But each day the LORD pours His unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing His songs, praying to God who gives me life.”  Psa 42:8

It is a cliché that we should be generous all year long; not simply at Christmas time.  If we give God’s way, we will be intentional about our giving throughout the year.

Keep a ready bless or “giving fund” by setting aside money each month or each payday for the sole purpose of blessing others. We use a “bless envelope” as part of our envelope system so we can be ready to meet other’s needs as they arise.

In conclusion, I readily admit that this list is far from adequate.  God gives in infinite ways that will not fit on this post or in all of the books in this world.  Hopefully, the few ways I share here will inspire you to give a bit more like He does.

For more inspiration check out some bible verses about giving or giving quotes.

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13 Comments
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  1. Elizabeth

    What an inspirational post, and a great reality check in this “season of shopping”.

    One thing I don’t see on this list is “obligation”. That’s important because too often we give because we feel we have to and because it’s social custom.

  2. Elizabeth

    Oops.. pardon the second post but I forgot to mention that I find the “giving fund” strategy works very well for me. I set up automatic transfers to a separate account for this purpose. It’s nice to have money on hand to support a good cause or simply to brighten someone’s day.

  3. Elizabeth,
    Thanks for the comments. Actually, I did mention “obligation” under “God gives out of love”. And I am glad to hear of someone else using the “giving fund” strategy. I have written about this tactic often, but seldom hear of others actually doing it. Like you say, it is nice to have the money on hand to brighten someone’s day.

  4. This was a great article and a wonderful understanding of what we should do this holiday season. Your message follows the guidance contained in 1 Cor. 8 & 9. I think it gives us 7 steps to richly giving:
    n a recent messaII. 7 steps to richly giving — 1 Corinthians 8 and 9
    1. Give yourself first to the Lord
    2. Excel in everything – then excel in giving
    3. Give in keeping with God’s will
    4. Be the first to give – have a heart and desire to give
    5. Give until it hurts – Woman with the coin
    6. Give until it feels good
    7. Give until it transforms lives

    May God bless you and those who receive His message through you. Thank you for the encouragement you gave me with this message. Steven W. Zachary stevenz@themessage2.us

  5. Steven,
    I hadn’t really considered I Corinthians 8 and 9 when writing this, but your overview gives great insights into those chapters. It always needs to start with giving yourself first to the Lord. Thanks for the encouraging words.

  6. May I suggest giving anonymously whenever possible? It relieves the recipient of the burden of owing someone he or she has met, leaving instead only the impression of kindness.
    This is especially true if someone in your circle of friends is struggling financially due to illness or layoff. Receiving a $200 grocery gift card or a $500 money order means this person can not feel beholden to anyone.
    A couple of tips:
    If you know the recipient is out job-hunting, leave a few bags of groceries on the back steps.
    Slip the money/gift card through the mail slot; print out the person’s name and address and paste it onto the envelope, lest your handwriting/printing be recognized.
    No mail slot? Send it via USPS, using the recipient’s own address as the return address.
    If you think your friend will somehow “know” it was you, send it from a nearby town. Twice I’ve gone so far as to mail the letter to a friend in a different state, who will re-mail it for me. The recipients might have suspected me — but they know I don’t live in Iowa.

  7. Donna,
    Thanks for these tips of giving anonymously. I understand that doing so will, as you say, relieve the recipient from feeling the burden of owing someone something or feeling beholden to the giver.

    I realize that people DO feel beholden, but I wish that recipients could learn to accept a gift as it is intended: a gift — with no strings attached. Sometimes well meaning people can steal the joy from the giver by trying to pay them back. This is the rationale, as you point out, for anonymity. But when the giver is known, the best response when receiving a gift or a good deed is a simple thank you.

    I didn’t plan to get off on another topic here, but in this season of giving, I think people also need to learn how to be gracious receivers.

  8. Elizabeth

    @Joe — serves me right for reading before I’m fully awake! But what I meant was that it wasn’t a main point. :)

    I agree with your point about being a gracious receiver. Sometimes it’s hard to accept help or gifts from others, but it’s an important part of any relationship.

  9. Great post. Loved it. Well thought out, and well said. – Rob @ dollarsanddoctrine.com

  10. @Elizabeth,
    Haha…Sometimes I write before I am fully awake…not a good idea.
    Yes, being a gracious receiver is not something often discussed. I think it needs to be.

    @Rob,
    Because I value the input of good writers, your thoughts are “weighted”.

    Thanks.

  11. Joe:

    I have represented a number of people in debt, particularly couples and have found that one thing about giving is that couples forget that God wants them to give to each other first. When this point gets lost, I have seen the fallout as I represent people in bankruptcy who try and get what is missing in their relationship by material possessions. On my Christmas list this year is the hope that couples make a commitment to give completely to each other.

  12. Steven,
    I would share your hope that couples make a commitment to give completely to each other. The only higher priority is that each give themselves completely to God first. My wife and I have found that we have more love for each other when we each make a deliberate decision to love God first and foremost.

  13. I LOVE this post!

    I think it’s ironic that He also gives rain to the just and unjust but at other times, giving seems to be conditional. The more I learn about Him though, the more I see personally that His gifts pour out from His grace. I realize I don’t necessarily have to qualify the people I wish to gift.

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