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A space for resources to help RE teachers and their students explore the Christian faith
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Lat Blaylock, Editor, RE Today

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Faith: Giving Back to God

What does the Bible say about giving money to God?

green plant on brown round coinsThe Bible has a lot to say about giving. Not only is it an act of worship for God, but it is also very practical too! Jesus taught that the greatest commandment was:

‘Love God… and love your neighbour as yourself’ (Matthew 22:37-38).

One way of loving other people is to help them when they are in need. In the early church, Christians were encouraged to give money to support other people in the church community who were not as well off as others. The Bible also gives some clear advice on how Christians should give as part of their worship:

1. Give as you earn: "On the first day of every week, each one of you should set aside a sum of money in keeping with your income" (1 Corinthians 16:2). In other words, everybody can give a little something – no matter how much money they earn.

2. Be generous: "Whoever sows (gives) sparingly will also reap (receive) sparingly, and whoever sows (gives) generously will also reap (receive) generously." (2 Corinthians 9:6) God promises that we will be treated how we first treat others. If we aren’t generous, can we expect others to be generous to us?

3. Give secretly: "So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets ... to be honoured by others. ... But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father (God), who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." (Matthew 6: 2-4) We shouldn’t give so other people will think well of us. We should give because we love God. God sees what we do, even when others don’t, and it pleases Him.

4. Give cheerfully: "Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." (2 Corinthians 9: 7) God doesn’t make people give things and doesn’t want people to be annoyed or resentful about giving. Instead, He invites people to give and enjoy seeing what their money, time, and effort can do to change people’s lives.

Some Christians choose to give away 10% of their income, often known as a 'tithe', which means 'a tenth'. Does that seem like a lot or a little to give away?