“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
(2 Corinthians 9:7)
Giving is a part of the Christian life. It is the subject of many jokes and internet memes, but it is expected of the faithful Christian. The Bible abounds with teaching and examples of the giver. What can we learn?
Giving Is Without Force.
The righteous man gives because he loves. He gives because there is a need that he can help to meet. This is his chance to improve another’s life. He is filled with joy as he offers his resources to the Lord.
Our passage above is clear: Giving must be free, without compulsion, and with joy. Compelled giving is little different from compelled taxation. That is, we may give, but we do not want to. It is not from the heart. It does not arise from love. We have all heard horror stories of the collector who travels among church members to make sure they give as they should. Others may browbeat members into giving more or manipulate them into generosity. It may support the preacher, but it does little to support God’s intentions.
Giving is Intentional
The Bible teaches us to decide in our hearts what we will give (2 Corinthians 9:7). When God called upon the former slaves of Egypt to give for the establishment of the Tabernacle, he told them to give as a man’s “heart moves him” (Exodus 25:2).
Each of us determines what he will give. His deliberations are personal and private. No one knows what he can give better than himself. Let us give thought and plan our giving.
Giving is Cheerful
“God loves a cheerful giver.” The one who gives must do so gladly, cheerfully, or graciously. This perfectly contrasts with the idea of avoiding reluctance or compulsion. As the Hebrews gave for the building of the Tabernacle, they rejoiced that they were privileged to be involved.
Inasmuch as the Christian is to be a servant, he joys in his role as a giver, for that is another way to serve. If as Christian groans as he gives, he ought put his money back in his pocket.
Let us be people who are free and generous with our gifts, for God has been free and generous with us!