Not too long ago I was having a great phone conversation with my mother and we were talking about a range of topics but one of the main subjects of our conversation was giving. The bible encourages giving wholeheartedly because it pleases and glorifies the Lord when we give cheerfully and generously ( Proverbs 22:9, Proverbs 28:27, 2 Corinthians 9:7). However, as with all cases of giving, we have to consistently re-evaluate our motives and we have to understand what it means to give.
I have a great friend who loves to give and to help other people but she revealed to me that she would sometimes feel bad when she had to tell people “no” when they could not afford something or when they asked for something; this can become somewhat a struggle/common frustration because there is always a need that needs to be met. However, God did not intend for there to be any frustration or feeling of guilt when it comes to giving because what we have to realize is that we give because we feel led to in our spirits to do so; not because we are the providers to those in need. God is the provider and he supplies our needs, not us. We can not outgive God…we can not replace God…we are not the providers. God blesses us so that we can bless others but what we have is what HE has provided. This is not to discourage giving but more so something to think about when we do give. We are not giving in order to provide them with their needs ( we are to bless them) because we are not the providers therefore that is an obligation/task God did not give unto us.
The bible says in Philippians 4:9 – But my GOD shall supply all your needs according to his riches and glory by Christ Jesus. The Lord knows our needs, he knows their needs, he knows everyone’s needs….before we even ask for them. The bible does not say so that your friend shall supply all your needs but that HE will. Sometimes, this may mean that we tell this individual, be it a friend or stranger, “No” if we are not feeling led in our spirit ( when it is right) to bless them with whatever it is. More often than not, if we are feeling that we HAVE to give them something because they asked us/it’s hard to say no, then we have to re-evaluate our motive in why we are giving right then and there. God did not intend for it to be a conflict within us to give. Saying no is not to be taken negatively/as selfish as it is commonly thought, because God surely did not have it intended for us to say “yes” every time someone asks us something because there is a time for everything; a time to say yes and a time to say no. Saying no just may mean in that particular situation that God is going to provide that person in need with what they need not from you but through somebody or something else. Instead of this individual coming to you, they just may turn to Jesus Christ to ask him who knows their need ( James 4:1-2 mentions You do not have because you do not ask). We ought not to think that God has forgotten those in need/or that he does not know or who is in control because God is in control and he does know!
So what’s my conclusion: God knows our heart and it delights him to see that we want to give to our neighbor. However, God does not want us to have conflict within our hearts when it comes to giving. We give lovingly, freely, generously and cheerfully to bless others with what the Lord has provided us with. Let him be the provider and let us continue to give with what he has provided….