The Joys of Giving

One of any pastor's favourite verses to haul out and wave in front of the congregation comes from 1 Corinthians 9:7. Paul writes: "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver."

The quoting the verse is usually closely followed by the arrival of an offering plate.

The context of the verse certainly supports the application. Paul is enthusiastic about the generosity of the saints in providing material resources for their poorer brothers.

Cheerful giving doesn't just apply to money. I think of all the work teams and volunteers, young and old, who have made sacrifices to step out in faith to give their time and talents to help others in need. I remember the two elderly farmers who came to Colombia many years ago. One was a self-taught expert in all things mechanical and spent his month or so fixing everything that remotely fitted into that category. His friend was a carpenter and made cupboards and fixed anything remotely wooden in nature. It was a huge help and a tremendous blessing to those of us who are not only baffled by anything mechanical (I cleaned spark plugs in our car in Colombia with a nail file) but in whose hands a hammer is a weapon of mass destruction.

I love Paul's manner of describing how God rewards people like these two quiet, unassuming, souls who gave all that God had gifted them with to help us overseas. "And my God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work…you will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God" —1 Corinthians 9:8, 11. Paul gets quite effusive as he reminds his readers of how the obedience of others in sharing their gifts results in a volley of praise and prayers offered to God for these gifts and for those who gave them.

I wonder if our pastors ought to focus on the rewards of being a generous giver just as much as they tend to focus on being a cheerful one. It certainly gives me those "warm fuzzies" to think that out there someone is bombarding heaven with thanksgiving when I joyfully give my little bit to help them.

Comments

  1. The more generous you are, the more blessings we give to the Lord. Thanks for the reminder to be generous as well as cheerful :)

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