– Francis Chan
Devotional: 5 Ways Giving More Freely Brings You Closer to God
This is really a mind blowing meditation on the nature of biblical charity. Usually, when people think of charity, they think of what Jesus mentioned in the temple “giving out of your surplus.” In other words, when you have a lot, human charity is when you give a portion of your bounty.
But biblical giving goes beyond just giving out of your surplus. In fact, it’s all about getting closer to God. Here are five ways giving more freely brings you closer to God.
Before I begin, let me just be clear about one thing: Your good works won’t save you. The Bible is clear regarding that. But reflecting God’s love through your giving is proof that God’s love is in you and you are saved. In other words, acting saved is not going to save you, but allowing God through you because you’re saved, results in good works.
Your ego decreases when you give
One powerful way giving brings you closer to God is when your ego decreases. Our ego is often supported by the things that we have. The more stuff we have, the bigger our ego gets. In many cases, our ego is so hungry it can’t get enough stuff so you keep buying more and more and building more and more just to feed that ego.
Well, when you purposely and deliberately give away stuff, your ego is forced to decrease. And when you have a smaller ego, there’s more space for God.
You worry less when you’re giving more
When you are more charitable, your focus is not on yourself, the challenges that you’re facing, or whether what you have is enough. Instead, you shift your focus on what other people need.
This brings you to closer to God because you worry less. You have to remember that worry is sinful because it shifts your focus away from Jesus Christ to your problems. Worrying is basically insulting God because instead of turning and trusting on him, you focus on your problems and ultimately, your ability to address your problems.
Build your trust in God by letting tomorrow take care of itself
One common question that always appears when you’re giving to others is “How can I replenish the stuff that I’m giving away?” If that question hasn’t arisen, then chances are you’re not giving enough away. But if that question does come, it’s an opportunity for you to build your trust in God more because as Jesus said, “Let tomorrow take care of itself.” By practicing charity now, we are given an opportunity to lay our trust in God to take care of us tomorrow.
Giving shows you partake of God’s abundance
God has many essences. The Bible is clear that God is love. The Bible also shows that God is justice and abundance.
How can he not be? He makes sure that the sun rises tomorrow. He makes sure that there’s air for you to breathe. He is the source of all life. He is the source of all sustenance. That’s how abundant God is.
When you give to others, you partake of this divine nature because you let it flow through you. Lets face it, the human heart is very greedy and doesn’t have any charity. However, when you open your heart to God’s abundance, it will flow through you. This means that you don’t just collect abundance, you let it flow by giving to others. When you block God’s blessings, that’s not abundance. That’s hoarding.
The more you bless others, the more you identify with Christ’s character
Christ was very clear regarding love. He said that when you care for the widow, hungry, and sick, you are taking care of him. So the more you bless others, the more your personal character identifies with Christ’s character. Make no mistake about it, our biggest mission here on earth is to reflect Christ’s character, and for that to happen we have to decrease and Christ has to increase.