Why Jesus Insisted on Giving

One unmistakable thing you will notice when you read the gospels is Jesus’ insistence that we be generous. For some people who do not believe in Christ, this is difficult to swallow. We are, by nature, non-generous beings. We love to hoard, to get, to accumulate. Giving runs counter to our fallen nature. And yet Jesus keeps repeating the idea that the kingdom of God is about giving stuff away.

Why? Because giving is a reality check of all our Christian virtues. Anyone can claim that he has faith, that he puts his hope in Christ, or that he loves people. But the litmus test of all virtues is giving. People of faith give because they truly believe that God will provide. People of hope give because their significance is tied to Christ, not to their money. People who claim to love are generous because love is generous by nature.

Giving also teaches us to loosen our grip on money so that our hearts will not be enslaved by it. Not that we don’t need money; we do, and it is good that we diligently work to increase income and provide for our families. But there are blessings that are far greater than the accumulation of cash and property. When Jesus comes into our lives, we are filled with a richness that surpasses our idea of wealth. He teaches us to give so that our hearts will be trained to clasp their tentacles to the true riches that are in Christ, not to the smaller joys of earthly possessions.

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