The act of giving does not benefit only the one who receives something; giving changes the person who gives. Just as setting aside time for prayer marks the importance God claims in the movements of our day, giving of our own resources marks the way we understand that all we have comes from God. Choosing to give to others allows us the joy of knowing there are things we value beyond ourselves.
Our biblical traditions ask us to practice tithing—give ten percent of everything we earn to God. The practice of setting aside a portion of what we make, to be dedicated to God, can help us reframe all the ways we use money. Regular giving marks our own choice to use what we have received for God’s work in the world.
Plus, there are few things more fun than giving gifts to people we love (especially when we’ve picked out something really good). What if we experienced that same joy in giving to God (who loves us abundantly)?
The next time you are able, give money to something beyond yourself—to the church or to some cause that Jesus would choose. As you give, say this prayer:
God, my provider, I thank you for giving me all that I have. As I choose to give to others, I let go of my claim to this money. Help me spend all my life in seeking after the fullness of your love. Amen.