How important is generosity to God? How can we live generous lives? Giving doesn’t have to be confined to monetary donations. We can be giving with our time, emotional support and other resources too.

Being generous with our presence can look like spending time with a friend who’s in a challenging season. Giving our physical resources could be donating food or letting a family member stay in our home for a few weeks while they’re going through a transition. We can also be generous with our encouragement toward our coworkers and kids or with our talents as we help a neighbor on the weekend.

Once we understand how much God has given us, we are filled with joy and a heart to share what we’ve received. And so, living generously is how God’s people are called to help others.

Let’s explore these Bible verses to learn about the generosity God shows us and the many ways we can live generously.

God’s Generosity

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

— James 1:17, NIV

But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand.

— 1 Chronicles 29:14, NIV

Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness.

— 2 Corinthians 9:10, NIV

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.

— 2 Corinthians 9:8, NIV

“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.”

— Malachi 3:10, NIV

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

— Psalm 37:4, NIV

“If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

— Luke 11:13, ESV

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

— John 3:16, NIV

And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.

— Philippians 4:19, NIV

Two girls hugging and smiling at the camera on a colorful patio.

A Biblical Mindset for Giving

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

— 2 Corinthians 9:7, ESV

For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.

— 2 Corinthians 8:12, NIV

But since you excel in everything — in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in the love we have kindled in you — see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

— 2 Corinthians 8:7, NIV

“Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back.”

— Luke 6:30, NIV

The wicked borrow and do not repay, but the righteous give generously.

— Psalm 37:21, NIV

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.

— 2 Corinthians 9:6, NIV

John answered, “Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.”

— Luke 3:11, NIV

But remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you the ability to produce wealth, and so confirms his covenant, which he swore to your ancestors, as it is today.

— Deuteronomy 8:18, NIV

Honor the LORD with your wealth, with the firstfruits of all your crops.

— Proverbs 3:9, NIV

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

— Proverbs 11:24, NIV

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

— Acts 20:35, NIV

And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.

— Hebrews 13:16, NIV

“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

— Matthew 6:19–21, NIV

The craving of a sluggard will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work. All day long he craves for more, but the righteous give without sparing.

— Proverbs 21:25–26, NIV

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act.

— Proverbs 3:27, NIV

For even when we were with you, we gave you this rule: “The one who is unwilling to work shall not eat.”

— 2 Thessalonians 3:10, NIV

Nevertheless, the one who receives instruction in the word should share all good things with their instructor.

— Galatians 6:6, NIV

“Every man shall give as he is able, according to the blessing of the LORD your God that he has given you.”

— Deuteronomy 16:17, ESV

“Every tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the trees, is the LORD’s; it is holy to the LORD.”

— Leviticus 27:30, ESV

Young man giving an armload of food to an elderly woman. Both are laughing with joy

Giving to Fight Poverty

Here at Compassion, we are inspired by the many sponsors who give financially to support children in poverty and give their time and energy to write letters and pray. This generosity is not wasted. Giving to children in need with no expectation of gaining something in return is a pure expression of God’s selfless love.

If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person?

— 1 John 3:17, NIV

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

— Romans 12:13, NIV

“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

— Matthew 25:40, NIV

So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.

— Matthew 6:2, NIV

“But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

— Matthew 6:3–4, NIV

Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.

— Proverbs 31:9, KJV

If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.

— 1 Corinthians 13:3, NIV

“Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will never fail, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys.”

— Luke 12:33, NIV

Suppose a brother or a sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to them, “Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it?

— James 2:15–16, NIV

If anyone is poor among your fellow Israelites in any of the towns of the land the LORD your God is giving you, do not be hardhearted or tightfisted toward them. Rather, be openhanded and freely lend them whatever they need.

— Deuteronomy 15:7–8, NIV

Those who give to the poor will lack nothing, but those who close their eyes to them receive many curses.

— Proverbs 28:27, NIV

Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward them for what they have done.

— Proverbs 19:17, NIV

The generous will themselves be blessed, for they share their food with the poor.

— Proverbs 22:9, NIV

Many children laying on the ground in a circle laughing.

Positive Effects of Generosity

A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.

— Proverbs 18:16, NIV

A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.

— Proverbs 11:25, NIV

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

— Luke 6:38, NIV

Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the LORD your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.

— Deuteronomy 15:10, NIV

Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.

— 1 Timothy 6:17–19, NIV

Examples of Generosity in the Bible

As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”

— Luke 21:1–4, NIV

Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is holy to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

— Nehemiah 8:10, NIV

All the believers were together and had everything in common. They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need.

— Acts 2:44–45, NIV

And now, brothers and sisters, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. In the midst of a very severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people. And they exceeded our expectations: They gave themselves first of all to the Lord, and then by the will of God also to us.

— 2 Corinthians 8:1–5, NIV

Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High, and he blessed Abram, saying, “Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And praise be to God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand.” Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.

— Genesis 14:18–20, NIV

Moreover, as you Philippians know, in the early days of your acquaintance with the gospel, when I set out from Macedonia, not one church shared with me in the matter of giving and receiving, except you only; for even when I was in Thessalonica, you sent me aid more than once when I was in need. Not that I desire your gifts; what I desire is that more be credited to your account.

— Philippians 4:15–17, NIV

The people rejoiced at the willing response of their leaders, for they had given freely and wholeheartedly to the LORD. David the king also rejoiced greatly.

— 1 Chronicles 29:9, NIV

And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all that there were no needy persons among them. For from time to time those who owned land or houses sold them, brought the money from the sales and put it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to anyone who had need. Joseph, a Levite from Cyprus, whom the apostles called Barnabas (which means “son of encouragement”), sold a field he owned and brought the money and put it at the apostles’ feet.

— Acts 4:33b-37, NIV

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