God gives us good things in order to give to others. He urges us to be gainfully employed in order that we might have something to give (Ephesians 4:28). This is not really the modern America mindset. (I really can’t claim it’s mine). Now do not get me wrong, God says he gives us good things to enjoy (1 Timothy 4:3-5). But He also gives us good things that are on their way through our hands to someone else’s (2 Corinthians 9:6-9). However, it’s easy to want to keep everything for ourselves. There are even unbiblical theological teachings that advocate this. Reading K. P. Yohannan’s “Revolution in World Missions” is eye-opening. He speaks of his experience coming from India to go to school in the United States. He was amazed by our incredible affluence and how much we take it for granted. Now I do not want to get on a soapbox here because when I point a finger on this, I see three pointing back at me. But it is helpful to put things in perspective.
Also, this does not apply just to money (although it is the oblivious culprit); it can include time, talents, education. There are many things God gives us that He intends us to use to bless others with. And it is through this we get the real treasure, the kind that lasts forever (Matthew 6:19-21), and obtain now the joy of giving (2 Corinthians 9:7).
To whom then shall we give? To the work of the Lord, both locally and around the world (1 Timothy 5:17. 18; Philippians 4:10-20). I do not want to ignore that.But also to help those in need (1 John 3:17; Matthew 25:34-40). Now I know and quite honestly feel the objections to the second one. We can say that many people in need have brought it on themselves. This is true, but we are all sinners and fall short of what we should be. We can say there are people who are conmen, who are simply trying to live off others. In some cases this may be true. But I do not believe we can ignore those in need (Proverbs 19:17; Isaiah 58:7; James 2:15, 16). This does not mean we should not use caution in what we give and who we give to. Often it is better to give through an organization like a rescue mission that has experience in dealing with people in need and can offer them more than money. But we do need to be concerned for those in need.
But at least as regards money, one of the things we need to do in order to be able to give is get our financial situation under control (Matthew 6:24). For if we are enslaved to debt (Proverbs 22:7) or otherwise stuck in financial problems, we will not have the freedom to give to others.