2 Cor 9:6-7 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Paul wanted to make sure the Corinthians were going to fulfill a promise they had made to provide money to some Macedonians. In doing so, Paul discusses the benefits of giving. He names three areas:
1. Generous giving produces a good harvest
2. Financial needs of the recipient are met
3. Produces thanksgiving to God
Attitudes about giving vary greatly. Paul doesn’t state how much to give, how often to give or any other instruction about giving. Paul focused on how our hearts are to be when we give. He states that one should reflect inwardly about an outward act.
I have not always been a cheerful giver. I have not always been a consistent giver. If I am not careful I can fall into a pattern of giving based more on habit than on heart. What I mean by that is that I give a certain amount each week, month, etc. more out of habit than really reflecting on the reason I am giving and the work that can be accomplished by the money. Sometimes, when the offering basket is passed I feel guilty if I don’t put something in. Not out of guilt for the amount but that others may think I am not giving. I am trying to please man versus pleasing God.
Giving is more about an understanding and realization that my resources are God’s to start with and that He can do much more than I can imagine and bless me in ways that money cannot buy. I need to remember that $1 given out of love and compassion and with a cheerful heart is better than any amount that is given out of compulsion or guilt. I give not to get but to bless others knowing that I will be blessed by God in His ways, in His time.
Paul’s message is not a prosperity Gospel but the truth in that God’s blessings promised to a cheerful giver are not necessarily monetary not are they meant for this world.
Help me to realize the blessings You have provided to me and my family and, most importantly, help me to remember who You are and what You have done for me. Help me to keep my perspective on all my stuff. And my perspective on how and why I give.