Important Biblical Principles On Giving

Important Biblical Principles On Giving

In chapter 16 of 1 Corinthians, we read that one of the most important ministries the apostle Paul had during his third journey was the gathering of a special “relief offering” for the poor believers in Jerusalem.

While this special offering was not the same as our Lord’s Day collection, it does give several important biblical principles on giving for believers today.

Giving is an Act of Worship

I believe it’s tragic when church members give only as a duty and forget that our offerings are to be spiritual “sacrifices” presented to the Lord (Philippians 4:18). Giving should be an act of worship to the resurrected and ascended Savior.

It’s interesting that Paul mentioned the offering just after his discussion about the resurrection. In the original manuscripts there were no chapter breaks, so the readers would go right from Paul’s hymn of victory (1 Corinthians 15:54-56) into his discussion about money.

Doctrine and duty go together, so do worship and works. Our giving is not in vain because our Lord is alive. It is His resurrection power that motivates us to give and to serve.

Giving Should be Systematic

Some Bible students suggested that many people were paid on the first day of the week during that time in history. But even if they were not, each believer was to set aside his offering at home and then bring it to the assembly on the first day. Paul did not want to have to take up a number of collections when he arrived in Corinth. He wanted the whole contribution to be ready (1 Corinthians 16:2).

If today’s church members were as systematic in their giving as they are in handling their other financial matters, the work of the Lord would not suffer as it sometimes does.

*Related Article: Biblical Principles of Tithing

Do you know that members of the Yoido Full Gospel Church, the largest Pentecostal Christian congregation in South Korea founded by Pastor David Yonggi Cho, would go to the bank days before worship day to exchange their old paper bills with new ones for their tithes and offering? And if they have no time to go to the bank they would iron them flat, making them crisp and looking new.

Preparing our tithes and offerings at home is a good practice to adapt. The word of God says, “Each one should give what he has decided in his heart to give …” (2 Corinthians 9:7). What better way to decide how much we should give than seeking God at home before going to church.

Giving is Personal and Individual

Paul expected each member to share in the offering, the rich and the poor alike. Anyone who had an income was privileged to share and to help those in need. He wanted all to share in the blessing.

Do not wait to get rich before you start giving to the Church. As someone once said, “Little can become a lot in the hands of Jesus.” Do you want God’s blessings? Be a blessing!

Giving is to be Proportionate

“A portion of the money you have earned” (1 Corinthians 16:2 NLT) suggests that believers who have more should give more. The Jewish believers in the church would have been accustomed to the tithe, but Paul did not mention any special proportion.

Certainly, the tithe (10% of one’s income) is a good idea to begin our stewardship, but we must not remain in that level. As the Lord gives us more, we should plan to give more.

Honor the Lord with your wealth - Proverbs 3:9-10

You must be familiar with the quote that says, “When God blesses you financially, don’t raise your standard of living, raise your standard of giving.” But when Brother Jess Cortez (a guest author of this website) exhorted tithes and love offering at Church, he said that God’s principle is actually the complete opposite of this.

Based on Proverbs 3:9-10, the sequence is: 1) Do not raise your standard of living, 2) raise your standard of giving, 3) and then God will bless you to overflowing.

Final Thoughts

Christian giving is a grace, the outflow of the grace of God in our lives and not the result of promotion or pressure. An open heart cannot maintain a closed hand. If we appreciate the grace of God extended to us, we will want to express that grace by sharing with others.

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14 Replies to “Important Biblical Principles On Giving”

  1. Great article Alice,

    A lot of people especially my friends often tell “Ask and ye shall receive” but I think the correct one is “Give and ye shall receive”, wouldn’t you agree? The Lord works in mysterious ways but one thing I believe is for certain is that if we do not offer our hand to give, why would others give their hands to us. Nice reminder in life, your article is just what I needed too as I’m currently thinking of how to solve this current problem of mine. Keep on sharing and god bless!

    1. Hey there Riaz, thank you for reading the article and sharing your thoughts on the biblical principles of giving.

      While it’s certainly true that the Bible tells us to “Ask and you shall receive,” the principle of “giving and receiving” is true as well. The first quote actually is about having faith in God that when we ask in His name we will receive (Matthew 7:7). While the latter which you have quoted rightly is about opening our hands to others and the blessings are sure to come back to us (Luke 6:38).

      This is not in anyway to say that we give just for the sake of receiving a hundred fold but the emphasis should be on giving wholeheartedly, expecting absolutely nothing in return as Matiss said.

  2. “When God blesses you financially, don’t raise your standard of living, raise your standard of giving.” – I’ve never heard that one before, but it rings so true. I will remember this. Proverbs 3:9-10.

    I love that you are spreading a message that is all about giving. Because it definitely needs to be spread. So many people in modern day and age do forget that that is what life is truly about – adding value to other people’s lives and making them better, not pushing down everyone else so that you could get on top.

    Sure, it applies to the church and everything related to that, but I wanted to give it a little more emphasis on just our everyday lives. It’s crucial.

    I for instance get the absolute best feeling when I know that I have helped someone meaningfully. But it feels even better than that when I ask absolutely nothing in return. 🙂

    Keep spreading the word! Cheers and have a Great One, Alice!


    1. Shalom Matiss, thank you for visiting.

      In today’s society where people are often concerned of their own needs, it is important to share how giving to the church and to others our blessings no matter how little we think they are is key to opening up the windows of heaven. I agree with you; it’s about caring for others and giving wholeheartedly without expecting anything in return.

      God bless!

  3. Hi! I agree with you concerning giving. We must give freely, consistently and as our Lord has prospered us.

    I personally like the example laid in 2 Corinthians 8:5, highlighting that the order is important: first gave their own selves to the Lord…

    Thank you very much for this post. It has many useful points!

    1. Hi Henry, thanks for your comment.

      The church in Macedonia has set a great example to us in giving. Despite their poverty they were able to give and that’s because they first gave themselves to the Lord. A very important lesson here: there is nothing we can do if we are fully committed to God and His kingdom. God will enable us to do all things and will work all things out if we are willing.


  4. Hi Alice! Your articles never fail to enlighten the gray areas in the thoughts of your readers. May you persevere and continue in this good work.

    One thing that I would like to add on about proportionate giving, if you will, is to discourage everyone from holding back no matter how small is one’s capacity to give.

    In the gospel of John 6:1-15, The young boy’s humble offering of five loaves of barley bread and two fish had been multiplied by Jesus to be more than sufficient to feed a multitude of His followers. There is no gift or blessing that is too little to share. God multiplies!

    God bless you more!

    1. Hello Bro. Jess, thank you so much for your words of encouragement, as always.

      I certainly agree with what you said about not hesitating to give no matter how small the amount maybe, because “little can become a lot with the Master’s touch” as illustrated by the story of the young lad who willingly shared his lunch of five loaves and 2 fish with the crowd who were with Jesus.

      Blessings to you too!

  5. Hello Alice, a lovely and inspiring message about the principles of giving and one I am sure most of us are familiar with. However I had not thought past the 10% tithing idea to raising the giving rather than the living. A question though, If you do not attend church would you deem it acceptable to give within your community?Thank you for a thought provoking article. 


    1. Hi Cass, thanks for your comment and question.

      What Paul exhorted to the church in Corinth in 1 Corinthians 16 is not tithe but a special offering for the Jewish believers in Jerusalem. He often taught the believers who had more to share to those who are in need.

      The same goes for us today. We are to extend a helping hand to those in need and the church is just one avenue through which we can do this. I know a lot of people who do not go to church but are always willing to help their fellowmen not only within their community but even to those who live afar off.

      But one thing we need to remember when we give, either in the church or within our community, is to always do it with a sincere heart. We give not expecting anything in return or for selfish gains. God always honors a heart that gives cheerfully.

      God bless!

      1. Thank you Alice, I could not agree more. I used to feed the homeless three nights a week in our community with a handful of others. We were all poor and had very little to give but we did it for love.


        1. Hi Cass, it’s such a blessing to know that there are people who are always willing to go out there to help others in need even they themselves have their own needs to take care of. This brings us to the church in Macedonia who, out of their poverty gave to others, and they were able to do this because they first gave themselves to the Lord and in the service of the church. This was actually pointed out by Henry in his comment.

          You’re right, love should be the motivating factor in doing all good works. After all, it was the love of God for the world that brought Him to the cross to pay for our sins (John 3:16).

          God bless you more Cass!

  6. Thank you for your great post.  It’s always been a bit unclear – the biblical principles of giving and tithing to me. You’ve made that a bit clearer.  

    Your sequence is very helpful in summarising this: Based on Proverbs 3:9-10, the sequence is: 1) Do not raise your standard of living, 2) raise your standard of giving, 3) and then God will bless you to overflowing.

    There’s another perspective in today’s Gospel 11th November Mark 12: 38-44 about the poor widow woman who gave the equivalent of a penny receiving such great graces compared to others ” this poor widow has put more in that all who have contributed to the treasury; for they have all put in money they had over, but she from the little that she had has put in everything she possesses, all she had to live on.”

    God bless you and your work.

    1. Hey John, thanks for dropping by and sharing your insight in regards to the topic of giving. We all have a lot to learn when it comes to this area of Christian living.

      The story of the widow who gave all she had is a great example for believers today. This is not to say that everybody must do what she did but I believe the message is so profound and we all can learn from her.

      The poor widow’s faith was what caused her to do what she did. She believed in her heart that God is her great provider so even if she was to put everything she had into the offering basket, God would meet her needs.

      Christians today are encouraged to give out of love and out of faith in the God who promised to bless us with all kinds of blessings.

      Blessings to you John.

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