A look into what generosity in the Bible looks like and the a collection of Bible verses about generosity.
As Christians, we are called to love God and love others. One of those ways we express love is by our generosity. But what does generosity from a Biblical standpoint mean? A lot of times how we view things is not exactly what the Bible says. A good example is what does it really mean to wait on the Lord?
The majority of the time when we hear that word we automatically think “money.”
True being generous with our finances is a piece of the pie and we can see that plainly in scripture. But you don’t have to be rich to be generous.
I think that deserves repeating… You don’t have to be rich to be generous. It’s not about the amount you give it’s about the willingness to give as much as you can.
There is more to it. I believe that generosity doesn’t just start with opening the pocket-book, but it starts with an open heart and a deep connection with God.
And the fascinating thing is that generosity doesn’t just bless individuals when we give, but it has a powerful ability to break things in the spirit as well.
Generosity in its most natural state is just “giving.“
It’s giving of yourself, whether it’s your time, love, money, work, etc…
So, many times we try to “hold” onto these things for ourselves or for ones who we think are worthy to give too. Or sometimes we only show generosity when it benefits us in return.
That’s actually not being generous at all, for the true generous heart is to give and not to expect to receive.
Plain and simple, it should never be about our personal gain.
Ok now let’s dig a little deeper. Below is a table of content that you are more than welcome to use or feel free to scroll like usual.
Generosity in the Bible
Generosity is actually a function of the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5). You may be saying, I don’t recall that being listed in the 9 aspects of the fruit of the Spirit.
And in some ways you’re right, it’s not blatantly listed, but it is hidden in the Greek word for goodness.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. – Galatians 5:22-25
In the Strong’s Concordance (that is a book the helps you understand the Hebrew and Greek meaning of words in the Bible) the word as seen to meaning goodness, benignity, kindness, or beneficence.
ἀγαθωσύνη agathōsýnē, ag-ath-o-soo’-nay; from G18; goodness, i.e. virtue or beneficence:—goodness.
Now let us just stop for a second and look at that third word to describe goodness, “beneficence.”
I’m pretty sure that is not a common word in most people’s vocabulary. At least for mine, it’s not.
But it is used for the code of ethics for doctors and it translates, “Beneficence is an action that is done for the benefit of others. Beneficent actions can be taken to help prevent or remove harms or to simply improve the situation of others.”
In other words, to show goodness is to be someone’s benefactor. Or as I like to look at it, how can I be a benefit to someone.
To benefit someone is to give of yourself. Therefore, generosity is an active expression of goodness. It’s really hard to be good without giving in some way. The two usually go hand in hand.
I love what Proverbs 11:25 says,
The generous man [is a source of blessing and] shall be prosperous and enriched, And he who waters will himself be watered [reaping the generosity he has sown]. (Amplified Bible).
Being generous causes us to become prosperous, enriched, and refreshed. Isn’t that just amazing?!
Do you know why??
The Power of Generosity
Because then we can be even more generous and help more people! You become like a river. You receive fresh water from the mountain so that you can pour out refreshing and feeding the the banks of the river and all those who drink from it.
And that is a person Jesus knows won’t just hold on tightly but be a person who is generous. Ready and willing with an open heart AND an open hand. Giving of their time, energy, and money.
You actually become a weapon in the Lord’s hand to bring blessing to a hurting and broken world! That’s how powerful generosity is. It brings transformation to those around you.
Example: A lonely and recent widower whose adult children live hundreds miles away is having a hard time. You decide to invite her/him over to share a family dinner with your family and you invite them to a homegroup you have been attending. This blesses them and gives them the extra support and strength they needed. You were an answer to their prayers.
That is generosity in action. Generous with your time, family, and food. Sometimes people need this kind of generosity and sometimes it is financial generosity. Both are an act of goodness towards your fellow brother or sister.
So, I want to encourage you today to put into practice being generous. Ask yourself how can I give and be a benefit to my spouse, my friends, to my church, my co-workers, to my neighbors, etc?
And ask the Lord to show you and give you ideas on how to express that generosity.
Sometimes it’s something simple. A big smile, other times it’s serving, a kind note, or it’s a $20 dollar bill. Let Him guide you and be willing to give of yourself. You will be amazed at how you can help those around you.
One gives freely, yet grows all the richer;another withholds what he should give, and only suffers want.Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,and one who waters will himself be watered. – Proverbs 11:24-25
Bible Verses About Generosity
I thought it would be good to share some powerful Bible verses about generosity. Even though scripture is chock full of verses and stories of individuals that express being generous. I have only chosen 13 below.
I hope they deepen your understanding and encourage you to give.
*All the verses below are taken from the New King James Version. If you hover the reference you can read the amplified version.
Hebrews 13:16 NKJV – 16 But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.
Luke 21:1-4 NKJV – 1 And He looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the treasury, 2 and He saw also a certain poor widow putting in two mites. 3 So He said, “Truly I say to you that this poor widow has put in more than all; 4 “for all these out of their abundance have put in offerings for God, but she out of her poverty put in all the livelihood that she had.”
1 Timothy 6:17-19 NKJV – 17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 18 [Let them] do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.
Proverbs 19:17 NKJV – 17 He who has pity on the poor lends to the LORD, And He will pay back what he has given.
1 John 3:16-18 NKJV – 16 By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren. 17 But whoever has this world’s goods, and sees his brother in need, and shuts up his heart from him, how does the love of God abide in him? 18 My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth.
Leviticus 25:35-37 NKJV – 35 ‘If one of your brethren becomes poor, and falls into poverty among you, then you shall help him, like a stranger or a sojourner, that he may live with you. 36 ‘Take no usury or interest from him; but fear your God, that your brother may live with you. 37 ‘You shall not lend him your money for usury, nor lend him your food at a profit.
Acts 20:35 NKJV – 35 “I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ “
Deuteronomy 15:7-8 NKJV – 7 “If there is among you a poor man of your brethren, within any of the gates in your land which the LORD your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart nor shut your hand from your poor brother, 8 “but you shall open your hand wide to him and willingly lend him sufficient for his need, whatever he needs.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 NKJV – 6 But this [I say]: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 [So let] each one [give] as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God [is] able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all [things], may have an abundance for every good work.
Luke 6:37-38 NKJV – 37 “Judge not, and you shall not be judged. Condemn not, and you shall not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 “Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”
Matthew 10:42 NKJV – 42 “And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold [water] in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward.”
Matthew 10:8 NKJV – 8 “Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.
Proverbs 21:13 NKJV – 13 Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor Will also cry himself and not be heard.
Well, I hope this post on generosity in the Bible has blessed you. If you would like to grow more in your walk with God… then check out my other Faith Articles.
Feel free to drop me a comment below on how the Lord is teaching you about being generous.
Melissa is a passionate minister, speaker and an ongoing learner of the Bible. She has been involved in church and vocational ministry for over 18 years. And is the founder of Think About Such Things. She has the heart to equip the saints by helping them get into the Word of God and fall more in love with Jesus. She also enjoys family, cooking, and reading.
She has spoken in churches in California, Oregon, Texas, and Mexico and has been featured in Guidepost Magazine and All Recipes Magazine. Read More…
Thursday 24th of October 2019
God is teaching me how to be generous in many ways and places. He tells me to be generous with my time by being patient, doing tasks towards His Kingdom, and using my gifts. I love to pray for others. I just get such a thrill out of it. Its the intimacy with our Heavenly Father. God is teaching me to always give when I can!
Wednesday 26th of July 2017
Generosity has been much on my heart, and I'm preparing a post that gives various examples of non-monetary ways to show generosity. It is, as you say, part of kindness. We're not to use generosity for personal gain, to pay someone back for something, to compensate, or any other such thing. It's a free will type of offering with no strings attached. :) Love that God put this topic on your heart, too!
Wednesday 26th of July 2017
Preach Melissa! Love this post, giving is about the heart behind it! We as Christians should "lead the way with irrational generosity. We truly believe it is more blessed to give than to receive." We give of ourselves out of abundance because through Jesus; we are abundantly blessed.
Wednesday 26th of July 2017
Thank you for this great post! I've been learning how to be more generous lately, and it has helped enrich my relationships! If we always tried to benefit others, we would see God's love abound.