Summary: This sermon is the seventh in a series of ten on Motivational Spiritual Gifts which communicates the characteristics of the gift of Giving in order to allow the Holy Spirit to reveal this gift to those who have it.
In Romans 12:8b, the second phrase says in the KJV, “he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity or liberality.” The NIV says “if it is contributing to the needs of others, let him give generously.” One of my favorite advertisements is the Red Cross Blood Banks appeal to “Give the Gift that Keeps on Giving – Give Blood Today!” Blood does enable us to keep on living and as long as we’re living we have the opportunity to keep on giving. At least if we have the motivational, spiritual gift of giving.
The Greek word here is “metadidomi” = to give over, share, or impart. And it’s to be done, according to Paul with “haplotetes” = simplicity, sincerity and liberality. In fact, in the guideline for expressing this gift Romans 8:13 says in the KJV, “Distributing to the necessity of the saints; given to hospitality and in the NIV “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.” Let me say to every member of the Body of Christ that through our church, God has provided the funding for “A Benevolence Ministry.” So as a part of this Body we need your eyes and ears and hearts to be discerning, sensitive and aware of needs when a member or family is struggling or hurting. If you become aware of a need let the Pastor, a member of the Benevolence Committee or a Deacon know of the need so that it can be met.
Now the person who personifies the profile of a Giver heart in the NT most clearly is our man Matthew. If you want to know about finances, money or good stewardship - where in the Bible would you go? One of two places – Matthew or Proverbs. Matthew records more about money, stewardship, resources and finances than any other writer. Now the definition of the spiritual, motivational gift of giving is the ability to earn money for the advancement of God’s work and to do so with such wisdom and cheerfulness that Christians are immeasurably blessed by the transaction. You’d never ask a person with the gift of giving to tithe! This person doesn’t give just for the sake of giving, but they give for a definite purpose of furthering God’s work. Of course, not everyone who tithes has the gift of giving. It’s a gift whereby someone receives great joy and blessing by having a part in God’s work and who gives far beyond the Lord’s tithe. So let’s look at:
The Characteristics of the Gift of Giving
1. Ability to discern wise investments
A person with the gift of Giving has a keen ability to discern wise investments in order to have more money available to give. They have the ability to make wise purchases and investments. In fact, the reason they’ve got some money is because they’re smart about making it and they don’t always give it away. Sometimes you’ll find that the people who have the most aren’t the ones who spend the most or buy the most. Oftentimes, they’re very conservative in the way they live their lives. The key to a giver heart is they have wise discernment about financial things. It’s a giftedness of the Holy Spirit. It’s uncanny how God gifts them to see things others can’t see. It’s a God-enablement. So their giftedness is their discernment and insight about financial things, not just money itself. A giver heart isn’t necessarily a money person, the money is a byproduct of the ability to discern wise investments.
2. A desire to give quietly
A giver heart gives quietly without public notice, anonymously. That is, if it’s according to the Spirit. If their giving is after the flesh, they’ll put their name on it like Trump Tower. A giver heart in the flesh has not learned that it’s all about God. We’re stewards or managers of what God has given us stewardship over. A person with the Gift of Giving has a desire to give quietly to effective projects or ministries. This person is not necessarily one who has a handout ready for everybody who’s in need. Rather they very carefully decide which project, which ministry, which person really has a need. Of course, sometimes they’re misunderstood in their desire to increase the effectiveness of a ministry with their gift as it could appear they’re trying to control that ministry or person. However, the desire of a giver heart is to give without others knowing about it. In fact, Matthew is the only Gospel writer who emphasizes that a person should give secretly so that God can reward them openly.
3. Gives without pressure or appeals
A person with the Gift of Giving will give, but doesn’t want to be pressured. In fact, they oftentimes have little or no interest in financial campaigns. They believe in trusting the Lord to provide. They have a motivation to give as unto the Lord at His promptings, not at man’s appeals. You can’t talk a giver heart into giving. They’ll resist pressure appeals. They give as the Holy Spirit leads them. Now, a giver does have a tendency to depend also on their partners counsel to confirm the amount of a gift. A husband with the gift of Giving will often confirm the amount that he should give with what his wife has in mind. Now, there are many people who give and don’t have the gift of giving and they’ll respond to pressure or appeals. But pressure turns the giver heart off. They want it to be their idea because they want to be motivated from within, not without. So a giver heart gives without pressure or appeals.