God’s attitude in giving is summed up in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only son.” Note the sequence. Because God loved, he gave. Because God is love (1 John 4:16), he is also a giver. He set the example of giving motivated by love.
It’s also crucial for us to give with an attitude of love. The Bible says, “If I give all my possessions to feed the poor . . . but do not have love, it profits me nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:3). It is hard to imagine anything more commendable than giving everything to the poor. But if it is done without love, it is of no benefit to the giver.
In God’s economy the attitude is even more important than the amount. Jesus emphasized this point: “Woe upon you, Pharisees, and other religious leaders—hypocrites! For you tithe [give 10 percent] down to the last mint leaf in your garden, but ignore the important things—justice, mercy and faith (Matthew 23:23).
The religious leaders had been careful to give precisely the correct amount. Yet, in spite of this, Christ rebuked them because of their attitude. For giving to be of any value, it must be done from a heart of love.
The only way we can consistently give out of love is to give our gifts to the Lord himself. If giving is merely to a church, a ministry, or a needy person, it is only charity. But giving to God becomes an act of worship. Because he is our creator, our Savior, and our faithful provider, we can express our gratefulness and love by giving to him. Whenever we give, we should remind ourselves that we are giving our gift to the Lord himself.
Stop. Examine yourself. Are you giving with an attitude of love?