3 Ways I Knew I Was Ready to Give
Giving isn’t meant to be complicated.
But it often feels that way. Especially when money is tight.
I used to think, “There’s no way I can give right now. I’m not ready. It’s great that the one older woman in the Bible was strong enough to give everything she had. But I don’t think God wants me to be without housing or food at 22 because of how much I am giving.”
So, I didn’t give.
Later I realized my idea of giving was all wrong. I was viewing it the way the world sees it—something secondary, something about me and my wants. God’s view of giving is different. It’s all about joy, freedom, and serving your neighbor. It doesn’t induce stress, it removes it.
Today, I want to show you how I eventually made the decision to give. I noted three key moments that marked the start of my giving. I hope that my story is helpful to you as you consider your own finances and whether to make a donation.
I had the thought pop into my head repeatedly.
Before I started giving, I was good at focusing on myself. I obsessed over my budget. I rarely splurged on gifts for myself or anyone I knew because I worried I didn’t have enough money. I considered taking on another job so I could start paying back student loans. Me, me, me, me, me.
Then, through the thick fog of this self-obsession, a bible verse shined a light. Romans 2:12, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing, and perfect will.”
I had read this verse several times before, but at that moment I saw its truth in a new way. I saw that I had been living by the world’s standards. God was calling me to something bigger than myself. And part of that new way of living involved giving.
I started to have more thoughts of donating. Not just once or twice, but multiple times a day.
And that’s what led me to the second moment.
Spending time with God always brings clarity to what is on your heart.
I spent time talking to God about it.
In Psalm 199 verses 33-35 David asks God, “Teach me, Lord, the way of your decrees, that I may follow it to the end. Give me understanding, so that I may keep your law and obey it with all my heart. Direct me in the path of your commands for there I find delight.”
Once the thought to give was in my head I knew I needed to pray about it and spend time in the Bible hearing from God.
I really like how Psalm 119 lays out the prayer to God. First, he asks God to teach him. Then he asks for understanding, and finally he asks for direction.
I found instruction in Hebrews 13:16, “And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”
2 Corinthians 8:12-15 helped me understand, “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have. Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality. At the present time your plenty will supply what they need, so that in turn their plenty will supply what you need. The goal is equality, as it is written: ‘The one who gathered much did not have too much, and the one who gathered little did not have too little.’”
And I gained direction by reading passages from 1 Timothy 6, “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.”
I started seeing different ways that I could help make a difference by supporting a non-profit or a charity. The more I learned about these causes, the more I realized that giving was something I wanted to do.
And that was when the fun part happened.
I got excited to make my first gift.
“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7
This was the moment when I felt free from the grip that money and budgets had on my life. While I still had some worries about how it might all work with my budget, I no longer felt overwhelmed by fear. Instead, I was excited to see how God would use my gift to help someone else.
I also started to see my money the way God sees it—a tool to bless others.
If giving is something that has popped into your head a few times, I would encourage you to not ignore it. Take a moment to spend time with God in His word and in prayer. Giving isn’t about the size of the gift, but rather the heart behind it.
And when I started giving, all the fear, anxiety, and frustration I felt was replaced by God’s joy, peace, and contentment.
I’ll leave you with these words from Philippians 4:11-30
“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all things through him who gives me strength.”
Kimberly Joerres is the Content Specialist for Kingdom Workers. She enjoys getting to share God's word each day in her work. In her free time she enjoys spending time in nature, trying her hand at cooking new recipes, and having friends over for a game night.