Some things are, as the saying goes, better caught than taught. A giving heart may well be one of those things, but like many spiritual disciplines, it is caught by those whose lives are being transformed by the Holy Spirit. As a ministry to Christian churches and parachurch ministries, eGiving provides the technological tools, as well as training and support, to help givers connect with ministries they support by utilizing electronic giving and online giving tools. When eGiving was founded in 2000, we offered only a fraction of the services we offer today. In order to keep up with current technology, we’re constantly adding new plug-ins and web-based tools to help ministries solicit and manage donations in keeping with their eMinistry. While how we do what we do is constantly evolving — and will likely continue to do so — the timeless biblical principles about giving continue to apply.
At the heart, giving is birthed from a grateful spirit that realizes how good we have it. Yes, even those among us who might not quite be considered “middle class,” and yes, even in the midst of a Recession. Luxuries like readily available clean drinking water and affordable food are far more available in twenty-first century America than they are or have been historically in cultures across the globe. Even with our smartphones and wireless internet, we complain when we can’t afford brand new vehicles or elaborate vacations. Instead of focusing on our many intangible blessings, as well as our material ones, we constantly do what those whose Shepherd is God ought to determine not to do: we want, lust after, yearn for the things of this life. Romans 1:21 lists this kind of thankless, covetous wanting as being at the root of all kinds of other sin.
Even for the most grateful among us, a technology-free weekend retreat or short-term mission trip to a third-world country really reveals our attachment to conveniences to which we’ve become accustomed. Where Depression-era frugality bred a community spirit, our own society seems to breed selfishness. Modern hymnwriters Keith and Kristyn Getty contrast the poor but generous widow with the rich young man who valued his wealth over his own spiritual safety. How many of us could pray this prayer and mean it?
Oh teach me, Lord, to walk this road,
The road of simple living;
To be content with what I own
And generous in giving.
And when I cling to what I have,
Please wrest it quickly from my grasp.
I’d rather lose all the things of earth,
To gain the things of heaven.
Job had the right attitude about his blessings, contrary to Satan’s assumptions. Although he certainly struggled, Job is recorded as responding with these words: “The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord” (1:21). If we truly have giving hearts, not only will we respond like that when what we have is taken from us, but we’ll keep a loose hold on things, willing to give them up to benefit others.