Last year, a study found that the United States was the world’s most charitable nation. Now, results from a recent survey may provide insight into why that is.
American Bible Society’s fourth annual "State of the Bible" survey included a new question about charitable giving. The results, when broken down by level of Bible engagement, reveal that those who are most engaged with the Bible—who read it regularly and hold a high view of Scripture—donated an average of $3,259 per year to nonprofit organizations. Those who demonstrated the most skepticism about the Bible averaged just $584 in nonprofit donations.
"While anyone who has ever taken a statistics class knows correlation does not equal causation, the results of this survey are certainly intriguing," says American Bible Society Executive Vice President for Mission Advancement R. Mark Dillon.
Lessons found in the pages of Scripture may have something to do with differences in giving between readers and nonreaders, Dillon says.
"Care for one's neighbor and support of one's faith community are themes that run throughout Scripture," he says. "It makes sense that those who spend time in God's Word will be more inclined to live out its principles."
The results are more significant when considered in light of average incomes. Engaged readers had an average reported annual income of $56,000, compared with an average of $67,000 for Bible skeptics.