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Biff Sharrock

Why I Give: Biff Sharrock - Stewardship Giver

Catherine Durant Catherine Durant
3 min

Who or what or what event has been the biggest influence on your giving?

Undoubtedly the biggest influence on my giving was becoming a Christian after university and acknowledging that Jesus lived a perfect, sacrificial life and yet died for me.

While living in Switzerland after graduating, I met a couple who were on mission from the US. I had a lot of questions for them, particularly about the Bible’s more difficult teachings, but they helped point me to Jesus’ death and resurrection: did I believe that really happened? That was the cornerstone. After looking at the evidence I put my trust in Jesus.

Before then, I knew that being generous was a ‘nice’ thing to do but that was where it ended. With no one to be accountable to and no motivation other than a vague trying to be selfless, I didn’t feel hugely compelled to give and mostly brushed past any feelings of guilt. When we accept Christ, he changes us. By no means do I do it perfectly now, but I do see God shaping my heart in this area day by day. It’s the reason why I now give to others and try to be generous.

What’s the best example you’ve seen of generosity in action?

Sacrifice and generosity go hand in hand. Our pastor, with his wife and family, moved into London to plant the church I attend, moving into a small flat on a council estate in central London. Their obvious sacrifice of comfort is a constant example to me of what gospel living and generosity can look like.

What’s the hardest thing about giving?

Without doubt it’s fighting the sin which shows up in all stages of giving! Firstly, I can be selfish and want to keep my money or time to myself. Then, if I do give, I am often tempted to boast about my generosity (Matthew 6:1-4 is a great verse to challenge me with this). And then finally, with direct debits and regular giving made easier, I am tempted to be proud and think to myself “I’ve got my giving sorted”. When something comes up that’s more than our ‘giving budget’, it’s then that I am struck that I’ve lost sight of the sacrificial aspect of giving that God encourages us to pursue. Praise God that he forgives me when I go wrong and that I can pray to him for help in this area.

What’s the best resource that helps you give generously?

This may be the driest answer ever given to this question, but for me it genuinely is as basic as having a giving budget as a baseline and setting up standing orders. Stewardship helps with this – I have a monthly standing order set up to put money into my Giving Account where I can choose who to support. As I mentioned earlier, battling my sinful heart is the hardest thing for me about giving. By working out an amount per month to give that still feels sacrificial, and then setting up a standing order to put that money in the ‘giving’ bucket, I am able to cheerfully give generously.

What causes are you particularly passionate about and why?

Apart from my church, there are three causes that I consciously aim to support: the persecuted church, work with students, and mission work in the City of London. We are so fortunate in the UK to be able to be publicly Christian, read the Bible, meet up for services and pray together openly. It’s easy to take for granted, and so it’s on my heart to support those who don’t have these freedoms. Secondly, having only come to know Jesus after university, I can see how pivotal university can be for young people – both already committed Christians as well as those exploring. Finally, London is a place where thousands of people come in and out and don’t know Jesus. Working in the City I see first-hand the pursuit of work, money and status, and the contrasting need for Jesus, and so it is an area I am keen to support.

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Written by

Catherine Durant

Catherine writes and edits for Stewardship, having joined the team in 2014. Previously, she worked in marketing for a theatre, spent time in mission focused on anti-trafficking in Asia and studied History of Art and English Literature at university. She now uses this love for words and images in her role at Stewardship.

Her interests are in anything arty – whether it’s visiting galleries, taking photos, going to concerts, or challenging herself to pick up a pencil and draw. She loves nothing more than an in-depth conversation with a friend, especially if there’s a cheese board involved.

She is passionate about the transformative power of the Bible and enjoys helping people dig into God’s Word. Catherine also cares deeply about issues of inequality and justice, particularly around the treatment of women.