Scripture: 2 Corinthians 9:7–8, NIV
“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 9:7-8, NIV)
Recently, I received an email from someone who desires to be a kingdom investor, but struggles to give cheerfully. The person asked how to get started in this type of giving. I encouraged the individual to read the book, KingdomNomics, and followed up with this:
God honors the giver who gives with a cheerful heart.
My suggestion is to study 2 Corinthians 9:6-15. Each person is to give as they purpose in their own heart, not under compulsion or grudgingly, for God loves a cheerful giver.
Love is an action word.
Verse 8 indicates that God will swing into action in the life of the cheerful giver.
Verse 6 explains the “sowing” principle. It says that if we sow bountifully, we will reap bountifully. He gives us the choice of sowing sparingly or bountifully.
I do not see any reference in the New Testament where God demands that we give. He gives us the choice and shows us the benefits of being a cheerful giver.
When the opportunity to give comes, ask, “How much can I cheerfully give to this project?”
Then make the gift. The New Testament teaches us to give proportionally as we have prospered (1 Cor. 16:2). God wants us to develop an “I want to give” attitude.
I do not let the “percentage factor” determine what I give. It smacks too much of the law and in my mind, equates giving with paying taxes and membership dues. I believe that a smart grace giver, if he or she has the resources, will give more than the 10 percent mentioned in the Old Testament. After all, such giving will result in more treasure in heaven, according to the sowing principle in verse 6.
New Testament giving is an act of grace empowered by the Holy Spirit.
What is reasonable for me to give considering the circumstances in my life?
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Romans 12:1, NKJV).
Each of us has to decide what is “reasonable” in our circumstances. Giving is a part of worshiping God.
You can begin developing the “giving” mindset by weaving a pattern of giving into your life. Start out small if necessary, and as you practice giving, you will increasingly desire to give more.
I like the following analogy: Faith or giving is like a cable. We weave it one strand each day until it becomes so strong, it cannot be broken.
Make giving a habit in your life, and you will be living a life that will echo into eternity, and one that is also blessed in this world.
Today, ask yourself:
What one step will I take today to develop an attitude of cheerful giving?