You Can’t Give What You Don’t Have

As we learned from the celebration of Purim last week, Jews in the Old Testament were taught to be generous and so Christians today should be generous. In the years I have been teaching Godly abundance I have said many times the Christians I meet have a huge desire to give to the poor and to fund the Kingdom of God. But…you can’t give what you don’t have. Their hearts are at the right place but their bank accounts are not.

Compassionate people need capital. Prosperous people can help others. Harold Eberle says it like this:

There may be a few individuals whom God has called to a sacrificial life, owning little and spending their days in prayer. But the vast majority of God’s people should work six days a week and be productive. The more successful they are, the more they will have the authority and power to influence the world in a powerful way.

This applies at all levels. The medical doctor can only go on a medical missions trip if he makes enough money to take time off and finance the mission. A business woman can only offer advanced training for her employees if her business is advancing. The business man can only fund an orphanage in Africa if he is making a prophet. And the neighborhood boy can only mow the lawn of the disabled homeowner if he has a lawn mower.

Many times I have been looking at situations or my finances a certain way, confident that I was doing all I could do. Since I thought this was the best I could do, I kept doing the same thing year after year…and getting the same mediocre results. But God would intervene somewhere, somehow; get my attention and show me a better, more prosperous way.

Sometimes this intervention was my own dissatisfaction with where my finances were at…desiring to give more but not having it. Of course we are content in the sense of being thankful, but perhaps this desire for more will drive us to make changes that will produce wealth for us to give. Philippians 2:13 states, “For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him. When God puts His desires in your heart it will lead to practical change in your life.


Source: Compassionate Capitalism – A Judeo-Christian Value by Harold Eberle, 2010, Worldcast Publishing.

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