Bible Money Tip: Generosity Is Contagious

I recently heard Ken Friar, Executive VP of INJOY Stewardship Solutions, share the following statement:

People don’t plan to be selfish. They just don’t make a plan to be generous.

But it only takes one or two people who are living generously to move literally hundreds – even thousands – to give.

Consider Exodus 36:3-8:

And the people continued to bring freewill offerings morning after morning. 4. So all the skilled workers who were doing all the work on the sanctuary left what they were doing 5 and said to Moses, “The people are bringing more than enough for doing the work the Lord commanded to be done.” 6 Then Moses gave an order and they sent this word throughout the camp: “No man or woman is to make anything else as an offering for the sanctuary.” And so the people were restrained from bringing more, 8 because what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.

Moses cast the vision God had given to him, and the people responded in an amazing way.

I’ve seen similar examples happen throughout my life. When tornadoes swept through Alabama in 2011, I saw one or two people begin giving to provide immediate assistance, and it compelled me to give. The next thing we knew, more than $100,000 had been raised.

When Hurricane Katrina smashed the Gulf Coast, people around the world rushed to help by giving tremendous amounts of money. The same was true for the earthquake in Haiti and tsunami in Indonesia.

We see it happen when a family’s home burns down and a community unites together to help them.

Generosity is contagious!

As I consider the various “contagious giving moments” I’ve witnessed, here are some common variables:

  1. There was a clear need. We all want to make a difference with money that we give away. We want a “return on investment” on the money. Without clear understanding of the ROI, we are more inclined to hold onto their dollars.
  2. The need was urgent. There are many cases where there is a need, but it isn’t urgent. Urgency is what causes us to move immediately.
  3. There was a trusted entity to send money. There have been so many highly reported instances of financial mismanagement that we have been conditioned (and rightly so) to ask the question, “Is this organization going to handle this money in the exact manner they’ve communicated?”
  4. Someone gave first. When we see our friends, family, or heroes give, it inspires us!

Have you ever been able to be a part of a “Contagious Generosity Moment”? Will you take a moment to share it with us in the comments?

This is part of the “Biblical Financial Lessons” series here on the wildly popular Click HERE to read more posts in the series.


  1. Kathy Kerner on March 11, 2014 at 7:35 am

    This past weekend, there was a benefit for Ben at the Chapel in Amherst, N.Y. Ben is a 4-year-old absolutely precious little boy, a twin, with a very aggressive brain tumor. He has been sent home by the doctors because his tumor was growing so fast. I don’t know this boy except that he lives in the school district I used to teach in, and his story has captured my heart. But thousands of people have rallied to pray for (most important!!) and financially help Ben’s family. A portion will also go to brain tumor research. Please join the prayer team…search blue4ben for more information.

  2. Carlotta King on March 25, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Several Sundays ago my pastor Bishop Dudley rose to speak to the congregation during the time of giving. He said the Lord dropped it in his spirit to pay someones tithes. He had his checkbook to write a check for someone who could not pay their tithes for whatever reason. The plea was not to embarrass anyone. Several people started to stand. The response was so overwhelming and moving that several in the congregation starting giving money. The elders and deacons of the Church started to fill the envelopes of those who didn’t have any tithes to give. Bishop called it an all in tithing Sunday. Nothing but God.

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