Giving Grows Your Faith
By Rick Warren
“Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.” Philippians 2:4-5 (NLT)
Every time you show generosity out of a loving heart, you strengthen your faith and become more like Jesus.
That’s because every time you’re generous, a change takes place in you. Every time you give, your heart moves another notch up the dial toward God. You become more loving. You become more like Jesus.
Philippians 1:11 says, “May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation—the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ—for this will bring much glory and praise to God” (NLT).
God wants you to learn that you can give without loving—but you cannot love without giving.
You say, “I really love my kids!” But do you give them your time? You say, “I really love my wife.” But do you give her your attention?
This is what love is all about. You become more loving—and, therefore, more like Jesus—when you become more generous.
What we’re talking about here is extremely countercultural. Society does not tell you to give; our culture constantly tells you to get. It’s an “all about me” world—me, my stuff, my needs—me, me, me.
But when you’re generous, it takes the focus off you so you can think about others. Philippians 2:4-5 says, “Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had” (NLT).
Showing generosity also strengthens your faith. When you use your resources to help others, instead of using them on yourself, you have to depend on God to help you.
When you choose to help a friend who’s having a tough time paying his bills, you have to learn to trust God to provide for you. When you use your time to help your neighbor, you have to trust God to make it work so you can get your stuff done too.
Your faith is strengthened when you depend on God in those situations and trust him.
Philippians 4:6 says, “Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done” (NLT).
Once, during a time of special giving at Saddleback Church, before I had written any books, God led Kay and me to give away our salary over a three-year period. For those three years, we had to trust God to somehow provide income. And he did.
Each time God tested us, and we remained faithful, our faith became stronger as we saw God provided faithfully. God will do the same for you when you give generously.
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