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20 Bible Verses About “Paying It Forward” You Need to Read

Tim is a freelance writer, poet, artist and storyteller. He always tries to find and include lessons for everyone in his writing.

Pay it Forward

The 2000 a movie entitled, “Pay it Forward,” sparked a national trend. The movie was about a little boy who when given a social studies assignment creates a plan for "paying forward" favors.

The movie sparked a wave of people who wanted to help others so they then could also help someone else In turn. Sadly like all trends do the, “pay it forward,” trend sadly faded into being just a memory.

While there are no references to God in the movie paying it forward has been part of the Christian lifestyle since the very beginning.

Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God” (Ephesians 5:2).

"And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. " Matthew 22:39

True Christianity is a pay it forward, no strings attached, self less lifestyle, just as God intended. Jesus in paraphrase said, "Just as I have done, go and do likewise." Here are 20 Bible verses from the Old and New Testaments that talk about the different aspects of "paying it forward" as a Christian.

Tom Parsons

Tom Parsons

The generous man will be prosperous, and he who waters will himself be watered.

— Proverbs 11:25

What the Bible Says About Giving

People are always hurting because of the economy and or layoffs. A little bit of help by one person can help a lot. In the Bible in both the Old and New Testaments believers are called to give a portion of what they earn to help others.

Proverbs 19:17, "Whoever is generous to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will repay him for his deed."

Proverbs 14;31, "Whoever oppresses a poor man insults his Maker, but he who is generous to the needy honors him."

Proverbs 28:27, " Whoever gives to the poor will not want, but he who hides his eyes will get many a curse."

Deuteronomy 15:7-8, "“If among you, one of your brothers should become poor, in any of your towns within your land that the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not harden your heart or shut your hand against your poor brother, but you shall open your hand to him and lend him sufficient for his need, whatever it may be."

Matthew 19:21, "Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”

The five verses above talk about the importance of paying it forward by giving. Listed below are two more of the many you can look up. God wants you to be a cheerful giver, giving from deep in your heart out of love not because you're trying to impress.

Proverbs 11:25

Matthew 6:3-4

Here is a simple, rule-of-thumb guide for behavior: Ask yourself what you want people to do for you, then grab the initiative and do it for them.- The Message Bible

Bible Verses About Doing

Paying it forward does not always mean going to extremes, sometimes it just means being there for someone in need. Like the store clerk who takes the time to listen to the words of the customers and then responds with kindness or the person who mows the grass of the elderly neighbor who has lost her husband.

The Bible says a lot about doing things for others that don't necessarily involve money.

Proverbs 19:17, "Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward them for what they have done."

Matthew 5:16, "In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven."

Proverbs 3;27, "Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act."

Philippians 2:4, "Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others."

Matthew 25:44-45, "They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' He will reply, 'Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.'"

Luke 3:10-11, "'What should we do then?' the crowd asked. John answered, 'Anyone who has two shirts should share with the one who has none, and anyone who has food should do the same.'"

Giving as these verses state is not always about giving money. Many times paying it forward can be as simple as working in a food pantry, giving of your time in a service project, two of many. The last verse about doing for others is Matthew 7:12 which can be seen in the quote below.

Pay It Forward

Bible Verses About Words of Encouragement

Words they say can build people up when they are in need, which is true. A Christian who “Pays it Forward,” is always ready to offer a few words of encouragement, a few words of advice or a few words of love. Here are some Bible verses that talk of offering words of encouragement to those who need them.

Colossians 4:6b,"Be gracious in your speech. The goal is to bring out the best in others in a conversation, not put them down, not cut them out.

Proverbs 15:4, "Kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim

1 Thessalonians 5:11b, "So speak encouraging words to one another. Build up hope so you’ll all be together in this, no one left out, no one left behind. I know you’re already doing this; just keep on doing

Proverbs 16:24, "Gracious speech is like clover honey—good taste to the soul, quick energy for the body

Proverbs 18:4, "Many words rush along like rivers in flood, but deep wisdom flows up from artesian springs."

The meaning of this verse is not as obvious as the others. It simple means be careful with your words and don's gush them out without thinking.

Ephesians 4:29, "Watch the way you talk. Let nothing foul or dirty come out of your mouth. Say only what helps, each word a gift."

All verses are from the Message Bible.

As all these verses show words are the simplest way to pay it forward to someone in need. All they cost you is a little time.

Paying It Forward - A Retrospection

There you have them 20 plus Bible verses which bring forth the true philosophy of Jesus and what He came create. Christians are to be an example of what it means to “Pay it Forward“. Our giving is to out of love and devotion to God and a willingness to be in service for Him to the world.

Pay it Forward - A Tanka Poem

Paying it forward

In money, deeds also words

From the heart of God

Flowing freely to others

Through your loving mouth and hands

© 2013 Timothy Whitt

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