05 September 2013


It is not strange to hear someone speak of growth in grace, love, faith or holiness however, the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 8 introduces an idea of excelling in giving. During a bible study this very evening I asked myself whether I am excelling in giving. Am I becoming a better giver as the river of time keeps rolling on? How really does one excel in giving?

We can excel in giving in the quality of our giving, the quantity of our giving and the attitude of our giving.

If we are to excel in giving, we should discover, looking back over a particular period of time, that the quality of what we give is getting better and better. If a few years ago we gave only those things that were either of no use or no value to us, we must find that as the years have gone by we have found that we now give things that we value, things of high quality.

If we are to excel in giving, we should increase the measure of what we give. If before we gave a few things we must give more. To be giving the same quantities of things we would give some two or three years ago is indicative of a stagnation in our giving.

Finally and more broadly, higher degrees of excellence in our giving are attained by a betterment in out attitude when we give. We must:

  • Give Secretly: Jesus spoke of this on His sermon on the mount, how that our right hand must not know what our left has given. This is hyperbole of course since this is hardly possible. Jesus was merely stressing the desirable characteristic of secret giving.
  • Give Joyfully/Cheerfully: We've all had the experience of receiving a gift from one who has given it begrudgingly. You do not enjoy a gift that you know the giver did not want to give to you. It is no different with God, nor is it different with others. Everyone loves a cheerful giver.
  • Give Selflessly: Our giving must be all about the other person taking deliberate effort to erase ourselves from the picture. The depth of human selfishness is an abyss. Just now I was watching a famous screen actor on a video clip on YouTube announcing to a church congregation that he had given a million dollars to a church project. I do not know whether he made the announcement to bring praise to himself but we can find ourselves giving to others and yet being selfish all at the same time.
  • Give & Forget: This means that while we may be taken aback at the immorality of someone withholding something good from us who just the previous week we gave to, we must never give expecting anything in return. We mustn't end up with a mental creditors book filled with names of people who we gave this and that to that are yet to give us anything. You have heard it said, "forgive and forget" but I tell you now, "give and forget".
  • Give Consistently: We must make giving to others a habit. It must be for us, as it were, a way of life. The Apostle Paul, in the same passage refers to our Lord Jesus Christ who could aptly be named "The Giver" as our supreme example and standard in the area of giving.
  • Give Sacrificially: While there is nothing wrong in giving spare change and giving what we don't need, it would be erroneous to give only that. Our giving beings to excel when it beings to cost us something. When we give that last item or that last amount of money so that we become the needy to supply the one in need, we become more excellent in our giving.
To excel in giving, as is exhorted by the Apostle Paul, is to have these elements in greater measure in our lives. May it be so!