Giving While You’re Living

Genesis 25:5–6

BEFORE ABRAHAM DIED, he took good care of all his children, establishing each of his sons financially as they left the nest and started families of their own. He had evidently learned from the mistake he’d made with Ishmael and Hagar, whom he had sent away with inadequate provisions.

Many years ago, a wise and godly financial planner convinced me that Cynthia and I should share our inheritances before we die. He liked to quote the old saying, “Do your givin’ while you’re livin’, then you’re knowin’ where it’s goin’!” Why wait until you’re dead before your offspring and others can enjoy what you have earned and saved?

Abraham chose to do his givin’ while he was livin’. While he was alive, he helped his six sons with Keturah get started; he also helped Ishmael with his needs. Given Abraham’s immense wealth, he was still able to leave a vast fortune in the hands of Isaac, who inherited the rest from his father.

I believe that this wise planning was one of the reasons Abraham was able to be at peace in his final days: “Abraham breathed his last and died in a ripe old age, an old man and satisfied with life; and he was gathered to his people” (Genesis 25:8, NASB).

Satisfied translates from the Hebrew word sahbah, which literally means “to be full.” Abraham died with a full smile. Full of years. Full of satisfaction. Full of contentment. When he looked into the eyes of his children and his grandchildren, he could engage them without a guilty conscience. He gave of himself, and he shared his resources.



Are you experiencing the joy of releasing your wealth while you’re still alive, as Abraham did? If not, how can you take the first steps to do so?


I am coming to you for the third time, and I will not be a burden to you. I don’t want what you have—I want you. After all, children don’t provide for their parents. Rather, parents provide for their children.


Taken from Faith for the Journey by Charles Swindoll. Copyright © 2014 by Charles R. Swindoll. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

Posted in Stewardship and tagged .

Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.