Paul asked the church at Corinth to be “cheerful givers” by giving for the relief of the saints in Jerusalem. Our God extends that same plea to the church as a whole as we use our material resources for His kingdom.
What does “cheerful giving” mean?
First, it implies a radical departure from the self-centeredness of the world. Could any command be more radical than this: give yourself wholly and completely to God–including your material resources–and do it with joy? Yet, that is what God asks us to do. Those who recognize God’s goodness give not reluctantly or out of compulsion but cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Second, cheerful giving recognizes that all of life comes from God. It understands that God is the owner and we are His managers and stewards.
Third, cheerful giving depends on God to supply all our needs according to His riches in glory (Philippians 4:19). What a refreshing concept to finally realize God has my back and my front. The Psalmist said, “I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread. They are always generous and lend freely; their children will be blessed” (Psalm 37:25-26).
Fourth, cheerful giving understands that God allows His people to participate in His work. We get to do the work of God in the world–what an astounding thought!
Fifth, it means seeing that many things are more important than my “stuff.”
Sixth, cheerful giving comes only when I ask God to do His grace work in my life. I don’t change; He changes me and I participate with Him in my changing.
Finally, cheerful giving means that I have–finally–recognized God is my Lord and I am His servant. It means knowing that God is all I really have and all I really need.
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