J.I. Packer, the author of Knowing God, died on Friday, July 17, 2020. He was 93. Reading tributes to his life and the rich legacy of his teaching and writing, I came across one of the most profound quotes on giving I’ve found.
Packer’s ministry concluded in 2016 when blindness set in from macular degeneration, Leland Ryken wrote in an article for Christianity Today. When asked late in his life about a final message to the church, Packer summed it up in four words: “Glorify Christ every way.”
Packer lived this out through his long life of service to the church. He wrote to glorify Christ and inspire others to love and glorify God. This quote beautifully describes the nature of love and of the the generous life:
The measure of all love is its giving. The measure of the love of God is the cross of Christ. –J.I. Packer
The Christian understanding defines love in a profoundly countercultural way. Measuring a life by that standard challenges much of what our culture values when it comes to success and legacy.
Packer’s words inspired me to gather 10 other quotes on giving, generosity and wealth, mostly from well-known Christians (with a couple from Greek philosophers for good measure). Which quote do you find most meaningful or challenging?
Quotes on giving, generosity and wealth
- The life of money-making is one undertaken under compulsion, and wealth is evidently not the good we are seeking; for it is merely useful and for the sake of something else. –Aristotle
If a man is proud of his wealth, he should not be praised until it is known how he employs it. –Socrates
- I do not believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I am afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare. In other words, if our expenditure on comforts, luxuries, amusements, etc, is up to the standard common among those with the same income as our own, we are probably giving away too little. If our charities do not at all pinch or hamper us, I should say they are too small. There ought to be things we should like to do and cannot do because our charitable expenditure excludes them. –C.S. Lewis
- I judge all things only by the price they shall gain in eternity. –John Wesley
Any temporal possession can be turned into everlasting wealth. Whatever is given to Christ is immediately touched with immortality. –A.W. Tozer
- God has given us two hands, one to receive with and the other to give with. –Billy Graham
- God judges what we give by what we keep. –George Mueller
- What makes the Dead Sea dead? Because it is all the time receiving, never giving out anything. Why is it that many Christians are cold? Because they are all the time receiving, never giving out anything. –D.L. Moody
You can give without loving, but you cannot love without giving. –Amy Carmichael
- [God] wants you to have something far better than riches and gold, and that is helpless dependence upon Him. –J. Hudson Taylor
Photo by Dominik Lange on Unsplash
Share this Post
Published July 22, 2020