24 One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.

I have heard this principle taught in many ways over the years, “Live life with open hands”, “Tithing is the only place God tells us to test Him”, “You can’t outgive God” and many others. Giving is to be our way of life. We are to provide for those in need, share what we have for the common good, and give our first and best to God. We are to bless those who persecute us, share with our enemies, and give to those who make unfair requests of us.

To live life with open hands means that I don’t hold too tightly to what God has given to me. If I hold onto something too long then it becomes a possession. If I hold onto something too tightly there is no room to receive more, that is all I can hold until I let go of it. But if I hold it gently, with open hands, and freely give it away, then I will always be in a position to receive more. And the more I give, the more I receive. It’s like a funnel. If I stop up the funnel by holding onto what has been given to me then the funnel doesn’t work very well, it isn’t doing what it was made to do. But if I allow what is given to me to freely flow to others then I am doing what I was made to do and the blessing continue to flow.

Testing God with the principle of tithing is taken from Malachi 3:10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that there will not be room enough to store it.” God promises to bless us if we are faithful to give to Him first. Instead of giving our leftovers to God, He asks for us to trust Him and give to Him the first and best that we have. This act of faith will be rewarded many times over what was initially given.

With all that we are to give, have you ever got tired of giving? Have you ever said, “They are just mooching off of me!”, “I’m tired of being taken advantage of!”, or “They are just a bunch of takers!” It sure seems like the world around us preys on those that have a heart to give. Have you ever gotten mad that you were asked to give more? Does it seem unfair that not everyone gives? I wonder if God has these thoughts? “They are just mooching off of me! I’m tired of being taken advantage of! They are just a bunch of takers!” What if Jesus got to the Garden and said, “I’m tired of giving! It’s not fair that I’m the only one who is giving!” What if, instead of giving His first, and best, God gave us His leftovers?

“For God so loved the world that He gave!” You can’t outgive God because He has already given everything for us.