Hope for your financial life and beyond

If You Give Like This God Will Be Laughing

Hidden Nuggets Series #91 – “So let each of you give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” – II Corinthians 9:7

For some it’s the most boring part of the Sunday morning worship service. We think the preaching is OK and the music is fine. We even tolerate the meet and greet. But this 2-3 minute event many would just assume skip like the commercials on a DVR.

god loves a cheerful giverWhat am I referring to?

The moment when we give money to the church, otherwise known as the offering.

There are varying reactions to the offering, depending on your background. When I was growing up it was like halftime. Our Sunday morning equation followed this pattern: music – announcements – offering – more serious music – message – benediction (i.e. endless stanzas of “Just As I Am”).

So for me it was a break in the service. I’d spend the three minutes whispering to my friends, going to the bathroom or checking out the cute girl in pew three. Anything but giving.

As the teen years passed into early adulthood, some maturity began to take hold. I realized the value in these moments that take place during the service and did my best to honor them. But at times I’d still get mixed up in the wrong feelings and motivations about giving, feelings that I know are common with believers.

God Loves a Cheerful Giver

II Corinthians 9:7 is a key Bible verse that highlights God’s expectations for giving. It reads,

“So let each of you give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.”

When we dissect the verse this is what we find:

  • We should not give based on other people’s expectations or habits (“…as he purposes in his heart…”)
  • We should not give with a resentful, reluctant spirit (“…grudgingly…”)
  • We should not give only because there is a need (“…out of necessity…”)

All those are wrong motivations to give. They stir negative emotions inside, ones that if left unchecked will eventually leave us jaded about the whole giving process.

Instead givers are called to be cheerful.

The Bible uses a funny (literally) Greek word for the adjective “cheerful” – heleos. It’s from where we get our word “hilarious.” Cheerful, hilarious givers have a mind that is ready to give with joyfulness. The passage makes it clear…cheerfulness is the mindset we should have.

I’m not suggesting we give a hoot and a holler every time the offering plate is passed. Depending on the church, you might get some looks. But you sure can be giggling on the inside knowing the manner in which you are offering money is pleasing to God. He might even be laughing in heaven at your hilarious giving spirit.

Questions: Is giving a joy to you…do you do it cheerfully? Have you ever been trapped into giving because of expectations? Out of necessity? Or reluctantly? Out of pressure? How do you keep the right attitude about giving?

Original image courtesy of Gregory Gill at Flickr Creative Commons

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Comments

  1. Great article, Brian! It has taken me years to get to this point where I finally “get” the giving. Of course when it comes to money, but also with everything else we can. Time, help, love, knowledge and so on. That place of giving something to someone else, understanding that it is not anyway entirely yours to start with and to therefore expect nothing in return.
    Veronica Paz recently posted…Fail to Plan or Plan to Fail?My Profile

  2. Nice article Brian. I give what God expects me to give. I know he is very understanding. Thus, as long as it’s out of love, I give at least something that I can give. For me, it’s not almost about money, but the thought of giving something and sharing it with others.
    Jayson recently posted…Doing Proper Car ComparisonsMy Profile

  3. I’ll admit, I’m not always the most cheerful, but I’m also never bitter. I give and I give sacrificially. Sometimes that causes me to think “wow I could be out of debt so much faster if…” But I’m never really going down the path of not giving. I need to work on following that “wow” up with “and I’m so glad I GET to give this to the Lord’s work”.
    Kirsten recently posted…What Should We Do About the Student Loan Debt Problem?My Profile

  4. Great perspective! I couldn’t agree more – giving unto others should bring joy. It reminds us that we are just a tiny spec in the grand scheme of things, and we have everything we need. In my opinion, giving is a physical profession of your faith. Not because you have to, but because you get to! We can’t afford NOT to give.
    Luke Fitzgerald recently posted…You’re in Debt, Stop Investing!My Profile

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