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How Does Your Giving Compare?

              How well do you really do in your giving? God wants you to give to Him. He wants you to give your time to Him. He wants you to give your attention to Him. He wants you to give your energy to Him. And, He wants you to give your resources and money to Him. After all, God is the one who has given you every good thing in your life. Now, He wants you to manage your blessings in a way that will accomplish His purposes to the best of your ability. As a way to evaluate your giving, consider how your giving compares to some who gave in the New Testament.

              1) How does your giving compare to a poor widow? One day, when Jesus was watching how people gave money to the temple treasury, he saw many rich people give large amounts of money. But, those people were not the ones who really got His attention. Instead, Jesus noticed a poor widow who put in “two tiny coins worth very little” (Mark 12:42). Yet, Jesus told His disciples, “this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. For they gave out of their surplus, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had – all she had to live on” (Mark 12:43-44).

              2) How does your giving compare to a sinful woman? Whenever Jesus was at Simon’s house in Bethany, a woman came in to Him with an alabaster jar of very expensive perfume. Then, she began pouring it on Jesus’ head (Mark 14:3). While some people thought she had wasted about 80% of a year’s wages (for the common laborer) and began to scold her, Jesus had a different impression of her giving. Jesus said, “She has done what she could; she has anointed my body in advance for burial” (Mark 14:8).

              3) How does your giving compare to some wealthy Christians? Whenever there were some Christians in Jerusalem who had financial needs, their wealthier brothers and sisters stepped up to help them. Acts 4:32 says that “no one claimed that any of his possessions was his own, but instead they held everything in common.” So, “there was not a needy person among them because all those who owned lands or houses sold them, brought the proceeds of what was sold, and laid them at the apostles feet. This was then distributed to each person as any had need” (Acts 4:34-35).

              4) How does your giving compare to some poor Christians? Whenever the apostle Paul was taking up a collection for the needy Christians in Jerusalem, he wrote to encourage the Corinthians to contribute. And, as he wrote to them in 2 Corinthians 8, he encouraged them to give by the example of the Macedonians. Concerning the Macedonians, he said, “During a severe trial brought about by affliction, their abundant joy and their extreme poverty overflowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. I can testify that, according to their ability and even beyond their ability, of their own accord, they begged us earnestly for the privilege of sharing in the ministry to the saints, and not just as we had hoped. Instead, they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us by God’s will” (2 Corinthians 8:3-5).

              5) How does your giving compare to Christ? Although your giving will never be able to match how much Christ Jesus gave for you, Christ’s giving should encourage you to do better. When Paul was writing to the Corinthians about their giving, he encouraged them by the example of Jesus. 2 Corinthians 8:9 says, “For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ:  Though he was rich, for your sake he became poor, so that by his poverty you might become rich.”

So, how does your giving compare? Sometimes it may be easy to think that we do well in our giving. Yet, your giving could simply be like the ones in Mark 12 who gave out of their abundance. Therefore, you should consider whether your spirit in giving is the same that is demonstrated in these five approved Biblical examples.