Generosity Isn’t About Money

Dr. Kelly Kapic, professor of Theological Studies at Covenant College, wants to refresh your idea of generosity. Dr. Kapic didn’t realize how big the topic of his book would be when he began writing The God Who Gives: How the Trinity Shapes the Christian Story.

Giving, Dr. Kapic realized, is bigger than your tithing. It’s bigger than an annual sermon series on money. It’s bigger than isolated, individual acts of generosity. Giving, it turns out, is everything. It is an act of grace woven into our world and money is just a small part of it.

The God Who Gives is broken into three parts that examine giving throughout the biblical narrative. The first part looks at creation and the fall, pointing to the act of taking what is not given as the consequence for needing a renewed creation. The second part addresses how God restores creation, reclaiming what was taken by giving the great gift of His Son and then pouring out the gift of His Spirit. The final part is a call to action for believers to participate freely in God’s kingdom by living out grace and generosity.

All churches and pastors wrestle with how to frame conversations around giving. If you’ve ever minimized the bigness of generosity, here are three ways to rethink giving taken from the book:

1) Generosity is about grace

Giving and grace have more in common than first glance. The word “gift” is actually the same word for “grace” in Greek—they are synonymous. God puts His grace on display by giving away what is most precious to Him. When you understand the joy of belonging to God, you will find yourself giving your resources away to advance His kingdom and make Him known.

It can be easy to separate grace from conversations on giving because they turn into matters of quantity. “How much should I give to God?” When we understand grace, we understand that everything belongs to Him. Christians are not meant to give out of guilt or shame but out of a joyful response to the reality that they live in forgiveness and freedom under God’s divine generosity.

2) Generosity is linked to our hearts

For many churches and missionaries, asking for money can seem daunting. If it is true our hearts follow our treasures, then asking for money from your constituents is like asking them to put their hearts into God’s work. Even better, if they include you in their giving, they are most likely to also include you in their prayers because where your treasure is, there your heart will be.

Not all of us can go where missionaries go nor are we called to. We can, however, send our hearts with them. Missionaries and nonprofits, in asking for gifts, allow the rest of us to participate in their ministries—which is a gift in return.

3) Generosity is participation in God’s work

Giving is about participating in the work God is already doing. God gives us His world, His Son, and His Spirit. Now, he invites us to participate with our own financial resources. People who are near to God take on the likeness of His sacrifice.

Reshaping how we think about giving comes with practical implications. For Dr. Kapic, writing The God Who Gives impacted how he thinks about his relationships with others. Giving to a relationship can be time-consuming, energy-exhausting, and emotionally taxing. Viewed in light of God’s divine generosity, the work of relationships becomes a living example of the good work of God’s kingdom.

The PCA Foundations helps donors execute their charitable desires and with the option of remaining anonymous in the process. Contact us to learn more about how we help churches and donors facilitate generosity to advance God’s Kingdom.