Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7
I recently read this passage, and it made me really look at myself and examine my heart about giving to others:
“Are you so grateful for God’s gifts that you give consistently, willingly, cheerfully, generously, and with compassion? Our offerings to God mean nothing if they are not given with this loving attitude. What God looks for is our pleasure and delight in giving to others out of a thankful heart for the blessings He has given us.”
Food for thought for all of us, isn’t it? Are you a cheerful giver? Do you always give out of love and the goodness of your heart, or do you give because you feel guilty or pressured to do so? What about in the area of tithing and giving offerings to God? If you are like me – at times I think I do really well and at others – I need a little attitude adjustment!
Scripture tells us that giving should be seen as a privilege and a responsibility to give back to God a part of all He has so graciously and abundantly given to us. Because we love Him, we should want to generously give to Him. And He has commanded us to do so. It can’t be perceived as optional as we are requested to give in one form or another. Our offerings should not be impulsive or haphazard but we should have an orderly system for giving on a regular basis.
This verse reminds us that “Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give.” We should always remember that all things begin with God. He gave us what we have and He wants the best we have to offer. Not equal giving, but equal sacrifice.
Mother Teresa said it well, “If you give what you do not need, it isn’t giving.” And C.S. Lewis said it another way: “I don’t believe one can settle how much we ought to give. I’m afraid the only safe rule is to give more than we can spare.” Tithing and giving out of the abundance of the gifts God has given us can be a great blessing when we are a cheerful giver.
Giving 10% of our yearly income in tithes has been an appropriate guide for many believers, but others say it is a good place to start, and should be the minimum amount given. And the really important instruction: We should give in proportion to how we have been blessed. Some have so much more than others, but we can all give out of our abundance. It is not the amount we give that is truly significant, but it is the spirit in which we give it. It should never be done out of a sense of duty, nor fear nor greed. (Thinking God will prosper us if we do.) But we should give willingly and graciously out of our love and devotion to Him. God isn’t just interested in our money. He wants our hearts and actually, He wants our all.
Dear God, forgive us when we aren’t cheerful givers. We know that all things come from you and you have blessed us in so many ways. May our hearts be opened to graciously give to others from the abundance that we have. Amen