How Then Should We Give? (2 Corinthians 9:6-7)
Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. 7 Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. —2 Corinthians 9:6-7
God has designed the world so that if you plant a handful of tomato seeds, you will soon be supplying the T for every BLT in your neighborhood. We reap what we sow (Proverbs 22:8-9, Galatians 6:7-8). That’s the nature of things.
As Job said, “As I have seen, those who plow iniquity and sow trouble reap the same” (4:8). I know a couple who live to serve others. They love to bless others. I constantly see people trying to do things for them, to bless them. If you’re faithful over a few things, in time, you’re given more things to be faithful over. Patience with others yields forbearance from others. Indifference to human need, produces a “not my problem” response toward your own suffering. Whatever measure you use with others, that’s the measure others, in general, will use with you. To him who has, more of the same is added. You reap more of whatever it is that you sow.
How then should we give?
2 Corinthians 9:6-7 says to give generously, freely, and cheerfully because it produces more of the same.
Give generously. “Whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” Paul explains why this is true in verse 11, “You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way.” Act generously toward human want and God will abundantly supply you more opportunities to meet human need. Sow generosity. Reap generosity.
Give freely and gladly. The two are distinct, but inseparable. You are free to give whatever makes you happy to give.
Adam didn’t pray, “Lord, do you want me to eat from this banana tree or that peach tree or from the berry bush over yonder?” God told Adam to eat freely from any tree except one. He could take whatever made him happy to take. All is God-supplied to be received with thanksgiving: “Thank you, Father, for this awesome wild berry-banana-peach smoothie!”
Giving is likewise a matter of God-given freedom. Give whatever you want, whatever makes you happy, for God loves cheerful giving.
People say, “you can’t buy happiness.” Of course you can. That’s the whole purpose of money. Yesterday at the airport, I bought a cup of coffee. Why? It made me happy.
You say, “I paid my electric bill today. That didn’t make me happy.” But you are an intuitive mathematician and you calculated that you were happier with lights than without them.
Everything we spend money on is a calculation of happiness. The challenge Jesus gives is to use money to secure things of lasting value and everlasting happiness (Matthew 6:20). Ok, let’s do it.
There is much suffering and ignorance in this world. Sow generously into the good works that save body and soul. Then be prepared to smile with a deep delight toward God.
Are you free and happy when you give (time, work, money to your local church or to help others in need, etc.) or are there weights of sadness, reluctance, or obligation attached to your giving?
Can you think of biblical steps you can take to become a truly cheerful giver?
Besides this week’s Fighter Verse, are there any previous week’s Set 1 Fighter Verses that could help you fight the fight of faith in the area of sacrificial giving?