The Foundation of Giving

By Kent McNish

Giving is ultimately about our relationship with God and is based on an understanding of what God has done for us. Our giving to the Golden Cross Foundation, therefore, becomes an act of worship — a thank you offering.

Giving reflects our spiritual wellbeing and fulfills a basic need in our lives. We all know we should give but sometimes it is easy to forget why we give. While there are many reasons to give, the following provide good starting points.

We Were Designed to Give
You could use a pencil to dig a hole but it would not be very efficient because a pencil was not designed for digging. A shovel, however, is designed for that purpose and produces much better results. Since God is the ultimate giver and we are designed in God’s likeness and image, we function at our best when we are giving. Many people spend their energy trying to hoard all they can—which is like digging a hole with a pencil. When we give, we are functioning in the manner in which we were created and therefore produce much better results.

We Respond to God’s Generosity
We all know the verse… “For God so loved the world that he gave…” (John 3:16). We have received the greatest gift we could possibly be given. We should be overflowing with gratitude and thanks. While we will never be able to pay God back, we can show our gratitude with giving.

We Remember God Is Our Source
When we look at bank accounts or investments as our source, things can be very scary. Understanding that God is the unfailing supplier of all our needs, no matter what the economy is doing, is very reassuring. Giving is one way we can remind ourselves of this truth. “And my God will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:19)

We Give to Achieve Balance
Why are there parts of the world with people starving while many of us have never missed a meal? There is more than enough money in the world; no one should ever have to go hungry. But it’s not evenly balanced. “Our desire . . . is that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need….” (2 Cor 8:13-14).

We Break Money’s Hold on Our Lives
Giving breaks the hold that money might otherwise have on us. The Bible makes it clear that if we are going to follow God, we cannot have our minds occupied with thoughts of money. Every sober day for an alcoholic proves his or her liberty from alcohol. The same is true with giving. The more we give, the more it proves that money does not control us.

We Experience the Blessedness of Giving
Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than receive.” He was not just uttering a beautiful platitude. Jesus understood the joy of giving. He gave up his life and endured inexpressible pain because he understood that joy. The Bible says he did it for the joy set before him. He knew one day he would see you and me—made possible through the promise of eternal life. And he would say it was all worth it.

During Lent when we remember God’s ultimate gift of his Son for us, we can affirm that gift with our own generosity. Pray about your giving in all parts of life—your family, church, and ministries such as the Golden Cross Foundation.

The Golden Cross Foundation serves as center for mission and ministry by, with, and for senior adults in the Tennessee Conference. Your gifts to the Golden Cross Foundation continue the work of Christ to senior adults in churches and communities and help define you as a generous giver.

Kent McNish is the executive director of The Golden Cross Foundation. For more information, contact him at kmcnish@goldencrossfoundation.org.