In his second letter to the church at Corinth, Paul the apostle wrote these words: “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Paul was appealing to the church to provide money to help the saints in other places. But the phrase, “God loves a cheerful giver,” is not limited to money. Yes, Paul was specifically writing to the church about money. But the point is that in all areas of giving to God, He wants us to do so cheerfully.
Many times, when congregants are asked to give of their time or money, they complain in the process. They may feel as though their complaining is no big deal as long as they do what has been asked of them. But God is not only concerned about our giving but also with our attitude of giving. He doesn’t want us to give simply because we feel pressured to do so.
Whenever we give to God, we should always give from the heart.
This is such an important biblical principle on giving to God. Sometimes, church leaders in their zeal or desperation to grow the ministry will lay serious pressure on church members in the area of financial stewardship or of serving in a church ministry. But even in causes that are biblically sound, our giving to God must come from a sincere heart.
Paul the apostle was careful to point this out to the church at Corinth. But can you imagine a local pastor today underscoring this truth as he appeals to his congregation to support the church’s building fund? By contrast, church leaders often resort to manipulating church members to give.
If church leaders must pressure church members to support the genuine work of the Lord with their money and time, what does that say about the people? For one thing, it says God does not have their heart. And if He doesn’t have their heart, He won’t get much of their money or their time.
The bottom line is that you tend to support what you value. And if getting you to give of your time and resources to support the work of the Lord is like trying to push a rope, your struggle in giving to God smacks of a relationship problem.
THREE AREAS IN WHICH GOD WANTS YOU TO BE A CHEERFUL GIVER
Your Finances. We tend to think that if we keep giving, we will have nothing left for ourselves. If you feel that way then consider this: “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed” (2 Cor. 9:8).
Your time. As a church leader, it amazes me how so few church members want to give of their time to do the Lord’s work. I know that none of us have an unlimited amount of time. But somehow we tend to make time for what we want to do. There is no place where can invest our time that will give us a better return on our investment than in the Kingdom of God.
Your gifts/talents. So much untapped potential exists in the average local church. God has blessed many of His people with the exact spiritual and ministry gifts that are seriously needed in the local church they belong to. But many choose to sit on those gifts and abilities and let the church go lacking. What about you?
Here is the bottom line. There is but one way to give to God with the right attitude; that is cheerfully and abundantly.
Frank King is pastor of the English-speaking congregation at the Hinesville Korean Full Gospel Church, 758 Tupelo Trail, Hinesville, GA, 31313.