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.
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?