“Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly. So that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. (2 Corinthians 9:8-9)
Many people don’t think we should talk about giving because giving’s a personal matter. Paul recognized that. He didn’t set a percentage, or an amount, he established an attitude. We should give with rich generosity, We should give what we’ve decided in our heart to give. We shouldn’t give because we feel an obligation to give or give when we’re reluctant to give. If we understand that our giving is going to advance the Kingdom of God, we can give generously and cheerfully. What can we expect? To have enough for our need and to be able to do good things in God’s kingdom. Many in our society use money to keep score. We look at land, houses, cars, bank accounts, jewelry, and many other things to judge the worth of a person. Paul would tell people that God looks at your attitudes in giving, and what you do with that wealth to promote the Kingdom of God to keep score.
Giving is NOT a condition of salvation, please remember that. Our salvation was bought and paid for at the cross by Jesus Christ. But one of the ways we experience joy in salvation is by giving to and participating in God’s work. Wealth is not an eternal measuring stick, generosity is. Ebenezer Scrooge found that out in Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. We may find temporary pleasure in a new car or a nicy, shiny piece of jewelry, but the joy of seeing people coming to know Jesus, or growing as a Christian lasts forever. The joy of seeing someone who’s been blessed by the generosity of God’s people is eternal. Look at your giving. If you’re not giving generously, with great joy, try giving more and thinking about how God will use that gift. It will bring great joy to your heart. And if it doesn’t, You can have double your misery back.
Lord, thank You for joy in giving. Thank You that not only can I support others in doing Your work by giving, I can also have enough to do Your work as I trust in You.