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November 01, 2009


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Great article! My wife and I have been givers for a long time. We give about 15% to 20% of our income to various charities. We don't have large incomes so it doesn't really amount to all that much, but that is not the point. So no, I guess that just because we give, we don't get more money just fall into our lap. But because we are givers, and are not greedy with what we have, God has blessed us with so much more than money. This attitude has lead us into our new part time business venture where we give the opportunity for someone to bring a smile to someone else's face for FREE. Our business relects what we already do, that is building and lifting people up through giving!

For years I only tithed on my net income, beleiving that I could not tithe on something that I did not actually recieve(my gross income). I then heard a quote by the late Christian financial advisor Larry Burkette who said, "If you believe God only owns your net income, then tithe on your net; if you believe God owns everything, thithe on your gross".

Being convicted in my spirit I started tithing on my gross income. It was (and sometimes still is) a hard thing for me to do, but I believed that no one could outgive God. And indeed my wealth has increased, my needs are still met, and God has proven Himself faithful to me and my family.

I take issue with this concept. Not all who give freely will be blessed with abundant wealth. I have trouble with those who promote that paying tithes will guarantee them wealth and prosperity, because it's a lie. God never guarantees that if we pay His church a certain amount, then we will be comfortably wealthy.

I can't say if giving makes you wealthier, but it will help you be more satisfied with what you have when you share with those who have less.

This sounds like I might just be a perfect test case if I were to start giving:

With my lack of marketable skills, lack of career-related experience, advanced age, etc, there is no rational expectation that my income should increase significantly.

So if I were to start giving and my income DID increase significantly, that would be evidence in support of the proposition...even a miracle.

Terry, please post the results. :)

I don't think this verse (or the two following it) is meant to be a hard-and-fast rule, nor are most proverbs. It's not a money-back guarantee; God is not promising that everyone who gives generously is definitely going to become wealthy, or that everyone who slacks on giving will find themselves in the poorhouse. God is not giving you instructions on how to game the system for your own benefit.

The point of this passage is to contradict what some might call "common sense": the expectation that giving makes you poorer and hoarding makes you richer, and that therefore if you want to be rich you should hoard everything you can.

I would say that you should give generously, whether in a systematic way (like a tithe) or simply based on opportunity. In my experience, people who give generously feel richer than those at the same income level who don't, and people who give generously have healthier overall attitudes toward life and money than those who don't. Giving generously can also have benefits in terms of networking, or simply in terms of making your community healthier and giving you the secondary benefits that come with it. (A whole community of generous givers would be a great place to live!)

Of course, you can invoke supernatural blessing -- God might in fact choose to pour out financial blessings on a generous giver. But I don't think you need to get "spiritual" in order to make the point the passage is making.

I agree with the points made by LotharBot. My wife and I give away around 16% of our income - 10% to our local church and the rest to other causes. We don't give because we hope we'll be blessed. We give because we've already been blessed.

That being said, we can look back and see some specific times when it seems that God has blessed us as a result of giving we've done. What that tells us is that we can't out-give God.

We are especially inspired by the proverb that says "He who gives to the poor lends to the Lord." Not sure exactly how that works, but in our experience, God seems to especially bless us when we give to help those in need.

I didn't realize this until I paid closer attention to the keywords of this verse.

The act of giving is qualified as being "freely" which simply means generously. Then the verse shows that the result of this generous giving is more "gain" (to get something desired). On the flip side, if a person does not give generously ("unduly" : in an inappropriate, unjustifiable, or improper manner), then this person will face "poverty" (insufficiency).

I think seeing the verse in this light reveals more than just the simple message: "give [something] and you will receive more of [something]."

To better explain what I trying to say take a look at Matthew 6, paying special attention to the meaning of verse 33 in context of the whole chapter. I trust that you will see that giving was meant to place the focus on another purpose.

As already pointed out, I not only think that giving helps you appreciate what you do have left, but also I think that their is an element of providence involved for those that are charitable. I admit that I was a little surprised at one point early in my career when I was preparing tax returns for many high worth individuals that their level of charitable donations (I realize that not all giving qualifies for a tax deduction) were significantly lower as percentage of income than those that were in smaller tax brackets. Although there may not be a direct correlation between giving and ones wealth, I have found that my life is more full and complete when I am not focusing on myself all the time...

I don't think it makes you financially wealthier. However wealth isn't purely financial. Giving makes you wealthier in other ways,emotionally, mentally, etc.

By the way, I don't think you meant to do so but saying things like "If you're a believer in the Bible, it's hard to say that giving and being better off as a result aren't connected" is kind of insulting to those of us who aren't Christian. Maybe it's that I dealt with a particularly un-charitable christian today that implied I was going someplace toasty for not being a believer that I'm a bit over sensitive right now.

Giving is good, just don't give to the Baker-types! They'll spend it all on fancy cars and large houses.

Whatever your beliefs about this concept are, you can't argue with the fact that almost anyone who has ever given money away consistently and methodically ALWAYS reports back that they receive much more back in return,

Whether that is in actual dollars or other windfalls.

Noadi --

How is that insulting? I was addressing people that believe in the Bible (as I do every Sunday) and saying it's hard to deny what the Bible says about giving. I guess I miss how that could be insulting to anyone.


You shouldn't take what FMF said to be anything negative about non-Christians. Basically he was saying that if you believe in the Bible then you (should) know & agree with what the Bible says about this. FMF was not saying or implying anything about non-Christians. Saying "Christians believe giving is good" doesn't imply or mean non-Christians think giving is bad.


I do think giving benefits you. But I don't think that the benefits are necessarily financial benefits.

I think that giving makes you feel better about yourself and the positive energy allows you to be more successful so you attract more money to yourself. I don't give a certain percentage of income and there have been days when I go to church and don't give anything (because I planned poorly and did not have the money). I think God wants us to give but I do not think that he expects us to starve just to give X amount. So I think it is better for me to give what I feel comfortable with than to give a certain amount each time and then end up having negative feelings about it.


Excellent question, and I'm glad you're covering it because I've been wondering about it. See, I don't believe in the Bible litterally, but on the other hand plenty of famous American businessmen have taken the saying litterally and even credited it for their success.

Allow me to propose something: giving changes your mindset from one of scarcity, frustration, risk aversion to one of plenty and openness to opportunities. Now, which of these 2 persons is going to be more successful career-wise?

Don't know? Try this: which of these 2 is going to be the best networker?

* which one

The giving is a heart issue - like the widow - she gave with a heart of joy and not expectation. That's what God is calling us to do. Although the old testament called believers to tithe, Jesus said to give it all away.

Ultimately, God does own everything. The moment that you are too attached to something to give it away then it owns you.

A giving heart is one that is ready to do what ever needs to be done to join God where He is. THAT requires a relationship with God that makes the giving heart aware of giving circumstances.

So - can giving make you richer. A heart, completely devoted to and listening to God will not be denied.

The question isn't does giving make you richer but are you giving out of your heart or a desire to have more?

I started making a concerted effort to give a couple of years ago. I increased it last year, then again this year. It is a very substantial part of my income.

I have been surprised. I did simplify a number of things and reduced expenses, but my income has not increased much at all. I got a minimal raise this year because of the recession. Yet, I was able to increase my giving, and I still have more money in my account than ever. This happened even though I had a number of large unexpected expenses.

I believe God has put some laws in play in the Universe and somehow, even though I really can't explain it...I'm doing well personally even with what I'm giving.

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