Giving: Are You The Eye Dropper Or The Jug?

Recently, a good friend of mine was teaching on the topic of giving and he asked an interesting question. He told us to imagine we were desperately thirsty and someone offered us water to drink. His question was this, “Would you prefer they give you drink out of an eye dropper or a gallon jug?”

giving

Give Me The Jug!

I am pretty sure your answer to that question is the same as mine – I want the gallon jug! I am not sure anyone would prefer quenching their thirst out of an eye dropper over a gallon jug. No real brain teaser there.

It was his follow up question that got my attention.

When giving, are you more like the eye dropper or the jug?

Great Giving Analogy

Since I am one that likes analogies, this was perfect for me. I instantly understood the question and began thinking of the appropriate parallels. While virtually analogy has its limitations, I think there are several lessons we can get from this picture.

First, think about how much and how often you give. I am not really talking about your tithe at this point, but all that you give over and above the tithe. [This post is not about whether the tithe is a New or Old Testament requirement or expectation. Set this issue to the side for now.]

Questions To Ponder

How often do you find yourself giving to those around you? How much do you give?

Does your giving hurt? Is your giving sacrificial or out of abundance?

When you think about this, are you separating your business and personal lives?

Do you hesitate or are you quick to give?

Do you think your giving represents the eye dropper or the jug?

Another Giving Perspective

Let’s think about another perspective for a moment. Let’s say you are the holder of the water and you want to give it to someone to quench their thirst. If you want to make sure their thirst is fully quenched, which would you prefer to use – the eye dropper or the jug? Why?

Certainly, you can give more and give it faster if you use the jug, right?

So how do you think God looks at us when He wants to give? Does HE see you as the eye dropper or the jug? Why should that matter?

God’s Giving

Well, if He wants to give through you and you act more like the eye dropper, then He will not be able to give you as much or as quickly as He may want. If He wants to give THROUGH you to those around you, but you are slow and tight like the eye dropper, what do you think He will do?

On the other hand, what if you give like the jug? Do you think God will give you more resources to give to others because He can give more quantity and more quickly through you? Have you considered this before?

Once again, I am giving you my thoughts based on what I believe to be true. So that you can see I am not making this up, I want to check the Scripture to make sure it backs up what I am saying.

God’s Giving Purpose

Check out the following verses from Genesis. This is God speaking to Abram (later Abraham) and giving him the original covenant between them. Notice the dual ideas of being blessed and then being a blessing:

The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.

“I will make you into a great nation,
and I will bless you;
I will make your name great,
and you will be a blessing.

I will bless those who bless you,
and whoever curses you I will curse;
and all peoples on earth
will be blessed through you.”

Genesis 12:1-3

Blessed To Be A Blessing

Can you see that God promised to bless Abram and his people (Israel), but that they also were to be a blessing to all peoples on earth? This is HUGE and so often we neglect this very idea. We want to be blessed, but we are often hesitant to bless others with this blessing we have been given.

God did not say He would bless Abram so he could kick back and enjoy it. His intention is that the blessing He gives is to be used to bless others – all over the world!

How Achieved

Now that we see the purpose we have, let’s look at HOW we achieve it:

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

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.

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 9:6-8

Be The Jug!

Hopefully, you can see that we are all to be more like the jug in our giving. As we give, we are given more. This is the principle of the sower. As we are given more, we continue to give even more. This goes on an on.

This is not a prosperity gospel. This is about God giving more through us because we have giving hearts. This is about our hearts seeing His purposes and responding with our own giving.

I pray you will take these words and ponder them. Pray that God will show you where you are today and where he wants you to be. I promise He is faithful to do it.

Because I want to give you every opportunity to take action, I am going to tell you about an opportunity for you to give right now. My friend, Pastor Rajeev, does incredible work in Northern India where the Christian population is less than 2%. He is trying right now to raise the money he needs for his annual budget.

I encourage you to stop what you are doing right now and pray what God would have you to do for Pastor Rajeev. If you want to learn more about what God is doing through Rajeev, check out the links below. At the same time, don’t let your research distract you from the immediate need! Check them out:

Partners In Action Donation Page

True Life Mission Website

Gospel For India Blog


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  • http://www.coachbrown.org/ Coach Brown

    Good stuff Chris. Connie and I like to think of our giving in the light of His giving us the blessings of an overflowing, overabundant life (John 10:10)…Our giving naturally flows over and above from the abundance He has gifted us with.