Many people wonder whether or not to give liberally to God if they stress over having sufficient cash left over to address their own issues. Paul guaranteed the Corinthians that God can supply and meet their needs. The individual who offers just a little will get just a little in return. We should not let an absence of faith hold us back from giving unreservedly and liberally.
Our demeanor when we give is a higher priority than the total sum of what we give. We do not need to be or feel humiliated and embarrassed if we can only give just a small amount. God is concerned more about our attitude and how we give from the assets we have (Mark 12:41-44).
What Does it Mean to Be a Cheerful Giver?
This may seem like an oxymoron, or as a paradox, contradicting itself. The world says to clutch to however much as we can, yet God favors the people who give openly of their assets, time, and energy. When we give, God supplies us with all that we need so we can give more.
Moreover, the act of giving assists us with acquiring the right viewpoint of our assets. We understand that they are actually not our own in the first place yet were given to us by God to be utilized to help other people.
What then, at that point, do we acquire by giving? We gain independence from subjugation and slavery to our assets, the delight of helping other people, and God’s endorsement. “One person gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:24-25).
God relates to the poor as Jesus does in Matthew 25:31-46. As our Creator, God sees value in us all, regardless of whether we are poor or rich. When we offer to help the poor and less fortunate, we confer honor, both to the Creator and to his creation. God acknowledges our giving as though we had offered it straightforwardly towards him (Proverbs 19:17).
If we treat others liberally, benevolently, and empathetically, these characteristics will return to us in full measure. We are not to judge others but show love unto them. Whatever we would want people to do to us, we should do unto them (Luke 6:38; Matthew 7:12).
It would unquestionably be a shock if we somehow managed to plant tomatoes and green beans were to develop. In any case, it would presumably not be an astonishment if we gossiped about our companions and before long discovered that we had no companions.
It is a law of life, both spiritually and physically, that we reap what we sow. Each activity that we perform has an outcome. If we sow (plant) to satisfy our own longings (“he that soweth to his flesh”), we will reap (harvest) a yield of distress and sorrow. If we sow to satisfy God, we will reap joy everlasting (Galatians 6:7-9).
During the construction of the Tabernacle, Moses spoke to the congregation of the children of Israel. He told them that whoever was willing to take an offering to the Lord. Just the individuals who were willing to give were welcome to participate. God loves those who are happy to give. Our giving should come from a heart that is generous, not from a sense of remorse (Exodus 35:5).
God advised the Israelites to help the poor among them when they showed up in the Promised Land. This was a significant piece of having the land. Many individuals infer that the individuals who are poor, are poor through some shortcoming of their own.
This sort of thinking makes it simple to close their hearts and hands against them. Be that as it may, we are not to create purposes behind disregarding the consideration of poor people. We are to react to their requirements regardless of who or what was liable for their condition.
Who are the poor in our local community? If a church does not have a program to distinguish poor people and help with satisfying their requirements, then someone should begin one (Deuteronomy 15:7-10).
What Does the Bible Say about Being a Cheerful Giver?
How would we choose the amount that we give? What might be said about the distinctions in the monetary assets that Christians have? Paul gave the Corinthian church a few standards to follow:
3. Every individual should make up his or her own mind the amount to give (2 Corinthians 9:7).
4. Every individual should give with respect to what God has given to them (2 Corinthians 9:10).
God provides for us so we can provide for other people (2 Corinthians 8:12).
God wants us to relate to those who are in need, not overlook them. The people who make themselves fully aware of another person’s needs will be blessed in some form or fashion.
If we help other people when they are in a difficult situation, they will do whatever they can to give back (Proverbs 11:24-25), possibly not to us but rather what some call showing preemptive kindness — paying it forward (Proverbs 28:27).
We can believe that God will consistently address our needs and issues (however not every one of our wants), but we should understand that he may not supply them all during our life here on this earth.
Christians endure hardships and pass on (a tradition states that Paul was beheaded), and God may not mediate to spare them. However, in the New Earth, when sin has been forever annihilated, our needs and wants will be richly provided forever (Philippians 4:19).
We need to also understand that giving cheerfully does not necessarily mean the giving of a specific monetary offering or anything above what we tithe, although we should be cheerful in the giving of our tithe, and we should not look at our tithing as something painful that we must endure.
Cheerfully giving is a person who gives of what they have joyfully, not in a reluctant manner. We are to give from our hearts, not from what we budget from our monthly income.
If we look back at 2 Corinthians 8:9, we see that Christ, who was rich, made himself poor, so that we may become rich.
What Does This Mean?
There is no proof that Jesus was any less fortunate than most first-century individuals, rather Jesus became poor by surrendering his privileges as God and becoming human. He became “poor” when he became human, for he put away so much, yet thusly, he made us “rich” for we have received salvation and life eternal.
If we call ourselves Christians, which is to be Christ-like, then we should have the ability to cheerfully give of ourselves, our time, and any other aspect that promotes the Gospel of Christ.
For further reading:
Photo Credit: ©iStock/Getty Images Plus/NoLiMiT_Bkk
Chris Swanson answered the call into the ministry over 20 years ago. He has served as a Sunday School teacher, a youth director along with his wife, a music director, an associate pastor, and an interim pastor. He is a retired Navy Chief Hospital Corpsman with over 30 years of combined active and reserve service. Chris holds a Doctor of Ministry, an M.B.A., and a B.S. in health administration. Chris and his wife Vicki, of 25 years, reside in Madison, Alabama. You can visit my site here.