Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness (Romans 12:6-8, NKJV).
One would think that the spiritual gift of giving would require the person with this gift to have lots of money so that they may distribute it liberally. But if they thought that, they would misinterpret the “gift” of giving. In fact, one would almost have to question whether the act of giving was a spiritual gift because then only wealthy Christians would have it, which would be ridiculous. Therefore, It is necessary to first look at Paul’s Greek words when he said, “he who gives, with liberality,” and then take what he said in the context of his letter to the Romans.
One would think that the spiritual gift of giving would require the person with this gift to have lots of money so that they may distribute it liberally. But if they thought that, they would misinterpret the “gift” of giving. In fact, one would almost have to question whether the act of giving was a spiritual gift at all because then only wealthy Christians would have it, which would be ridiculous. Therefore, It is necessary to first look at Paul’s Greek words when he said, “he who gives, with liberality,” and then take what he said in the context of his letter to the Romans.
The Greek Paul uses is metadidōmi (met-ad-id’-o-mee), which means “to give a share of or impart.” In Romans 1:11, Paul says, “For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift, so that you may be established.” The word “impart” (metadidōmi) is the same word used for “gives” in Romans 12:8. In both cases, Paul was not referring to money or material possessions. But in each instance, he was encouraging those who minister through spreading the Gospel to do so with “liberality.” Liberality means to give generously, and so we should. But here is something interesting - the word “liberality” is translated in the KJV as “simplicity” because the original Greek word used was haplotēs, and it means several things - “singleness, simplicity, sincerity and mental honesty.” It literally means someone free from pretense or hypocrisy, who is not self-seeking, but demonstrates their openness to share or impart (metadidōmi) their lives or pour themselves out for others to further God’s Kingdom. This “pouring out” of oneself is the very essence of the “gift” of giving.
It is not a matter of just sharing material possessions or money with others (anyone can do that). It is much more profound. Those with the gift of giving spend their lives in service to others sharing their wisdom, knowledge, and skills – whatever it takes – to enrich the lives of those around them. Paul demonstrates how he and his fellow missionaries used the gift of giving in 2 Thessalonians 2:8-9:
“So, affectionately longing for you, we were well pleased to impart to you not only the Gospel of God, but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us. For you remember, brethren, our labor and toil; for laboring night and day, that we might not be a burden to any of you, we preached to you the Gospel of God.”
As you can see, the “gift of giving” isn’t just about money or material possessions. However, those with this gift will give the shirt off their back if they feel God telling them to. It is about giving of yourself for the sake of the Gospel. People with this gift can often be found on the mission field, sometimes going to dangerous places and extraordinary lengths to convert the lost and help those in need in concrete ways. Closer to home, they will often be found helping in shelters, feeding the homeless, or caring for the sick and elderly. At church, you may find these people are the first to jump in and lend a hand wherever needed. Their “passion” will be giving of themselves, their time, their talents and possessions and money to spread the Gospel. They are a necessary part of the church, accentuating Christ’s love, compassion and care in the church body.
They quite literally show Jesus’ love in action.
3/27/2017 01:52:38 am
Giving liberally and being a Christian should go hand-in-hand. Love how you explain that it's for ALL Christians, not just a blessed few :)
3/27/2020 06:16:06 pm
Thank you. I am a giver alright. I worry as I sometimes do not pay my tithes so as to pay someone's rent and it bothers me.
3/27/2017 07:20:08 am
Some of the most generous givers I have ever known were giving out of their neediness and lack, but, of course, to them, it did not appear that way. They were viewing their circumstances through God's eyes and their cup was overflowing!
3/27/2017 12:32:25 pm
Thank you Sherry!
3/27/2017 12:33:39 pm
Michele, I will agree with you there.
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