Knowing God though Giving

Are you meant to know God through your giving?  In the actual giving moment; meet him, experience his presence, engage his character, co-give with him?

I’ve preached on giving many times before, each time via a similar process;

1. Source the relevant bible texts on the topic.

2. Read, study and wrestle with them until they whisper their truths.

3. Try to craft those truths into some kind of coherent sermon.

I want to approach the topic differently this week, starting with what actually happens in the giving moment (believing God is very much present and at work at the time).  And this is where I could use some ‘preacherhood of all believers’ help.  Here are my exegetical questions;

“If you could put words around the ‘just right’ feeling you feel in the moment of giving, what would they be?  What do you love about giving?”

If you have any thoughts please comment.

10 thoughts on “Knowing God though Giving

  1. Curt Gesch

    I wonder if you’re trying to describe the indescribable.

    I made one announcement about giving to the budget this December in narrative form. It told the story of a past year’s GEMS club (using CRC-produced materials, and light and heat, and a lot of love and counselling from our leader).

    When a little girl experienced her mother’s death by accident, she and her father asked our church to hold a “Christian memorial” service.

    Which we did, using using CRC “materials” and training, and light and heat, and a lot of love and counselling from our leaders. Our pastor and the former employers (also CRC) spoke.

    Then I said something about budget giving for something pretty uninspiring (light and heat)may be part of an opportunity to proclaim the gospel of Christ now or somewhere down the road.

    I am personally not much of a fan of impulse giving. I find significance in meeting covenantal committments and giving promptly (January or beginning of budget year). Do I co-give with God? I don’t know. I know that I find giving part of Christian practice, just like reading the Bible, prayer, doing acts of mercy, etc. Deeply, profoundly satisfying, but I am not able to say how engaged with God I am at any given giving moment.

    Worship without almsgiving (not pre-authorized withdrawals) is impoverished in my view. This is why even though I try to give early in the budget year for shared committments, I try to make sure that I have this strange thing called cash in my pocket. John Calvin connected almsgiving (food bank sorts of things) with the celebration of the Holy Supper.

    Curt Gesch

  2. MS

    Hi John,

    For me giving has always been about saying thanks. Whether its giving money or volunteering my time, it has always served to remind me that I have been blessed with everything that I need, that I am taken care of. Its not something that I have to force myself to do because I know that what I have is not entirely my doing. It is a blessing and I am truly grateful. The hard part for me is asking myself how do I thank God? How can I show him that I recognize all that He has done and continues to do for me? Stuff that I may never even know about until after I die…so, instead of stressing myself out about the whole thing I just try to do all that is within my power to accomplish, whether that’s holding the door open for someone, serving others or tithing money. Knowing that God in His infinite wisdom will use that as He best sees fit.

  3. Jacqui

    Now, this is not experienced all the time, but the best way I can describe that moment of giving is like fitting a piece of a puzzle perfectly in place. Like I had exactly what was needed. Or when I’m on the receiving end, like the other person had exactly what was needed and gave it. pieces of the whole.

  4. Anna Loomis

    I love the feeling of connectedness that comes with giving. The feeling of ‘letting go’ is liberating and makes me feel fully alive. Intentionally sharing our time, our money, our lives with others reminds me that we are part of a greater whole. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the busy details of our own lives. Giving creates space for reflection and perspective on all of the many blessings we’ve been given. When we consider all of these gifts – our families, freedom, homes, relationships, vocations, financial security, even our physical bodies…how can we not respond to God’s whisper to give back for his purposes?

  5. Kailey

    For me, when giving feels “just right”, whether it’s my time or finances, is when there’s an internal struggle involved, when its hard and I have to argue with myself. That way I know that what I’m giving is important enough to part with. I don’t think that it should always be easy to give, otherwise it wouldn’t mean as much, both to ourselves and the receiver and if it was easy, we’d never grow and learn to let go of things.

  6. Barb

    The part of giving that feels just right to me is when I can give something specific for a specific purpose; I feel joy in being able to do that. I’m much happier in giving a specific gift though than in just giving a set amount. I do it anyway (give routinely) because I feel like I’ve been given a great gift myself and that it shows gratefulness to give back.

  7. k.

    Interesting question Pastor.

    Related to giving money like donations and services like helping the homeless etc I guess I never really thought about God being there on my side too. I always figured that’s why he put me here and never looked any deeper. When I can give, I give but I honestly don’t get any big emotional high five from writing a check to a food bank etc. I guess it just sort of blended into the social contract of everyday life.

    Once in a while I think up something special to do for someone out of the blue, but I get so much joy out of that it seems almost too selfish on my part.

    Now gifts that are harder to give like mercy, acceptance and forgiveness are another matter and I definitely feel God’s presence in those difficult moments filling the space left by giving these gifts. I’m not sure I would qualify the feeling as a “Just Right” feeling. Some of those experiences in my life were more like being hit by a tidal wave.

  8. Keith

    For me it is not always during the giving that I experience God, it often is when I hear what happened to the money. How it made a difference to someone. Giving can become a routine thing but the stories of how God connected the money with the need make the difference to me.

  9. Cari Fydirchuk

    I love that giving (for me) is a whole-self experience…all of me is engaged in the process and actual moment of giving.
    It typically begins emotionally with a sense on my heart or mind to give of my time, money…a piece of me.
    God is there from those beginning moments, dialoguing, discerning and perhaps nudging me along.
    Once the decision is made that I’m going to respond to God’s calling to give and take a leap of faith (which it can feel like sometimes) then I’m physically and mentally engaged.
    In the actual moment of giving my spirit is alive and God’s presence is revealed through the fruits of His Spirit; love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.

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