Cheerful Giving

Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. -2nd Corinthians 9:7

“I’ve made shoes for everyone – even you, while I still go barefoot.” – Bob Dylan

Occasionally I’ll get a phone call from someone complaining about all the wonderful things they’ve done for their significant other that go both unreciprocated and/or unappreciated. One time it was a friend who through his girlfriend the surprise party of a lifetime, but who didn’t get thrown any sort of party when his birthday arrived. Another time it was a girl who complained she had done 5 good things for her boyfriend that last week and he hadn’t done any in return. On yet another occasion it was a man complaining that he was investing a lot into his relationship with his family and he didn’t believe he’d get nearly as much out of that investment as he put in.

The fact of the matter is there are many self-centered reasons for giving beyond the joy of doing good or doing God’s work. Sometimes we give mainly in an attempt to receive in return sometime in the future. (sowing seeds hoping we’ll later reap the harvest – “investing” in people or relationships) Other time we desire a measure of appreciation or glory from giving. (Like the Pharisees who made a public display of giving or celebrities who hold news conferences to inspire people to be like them and give to a cause. I actually remember one man complaining that a bed-ridden man he’d helped out once hadn’t thanked him enough for what he had done for him) Even more bizarre, sometimes we give when we are unlikely to give back simply as an excuse to either feel morally superior (“I’m being the bigger person) or sorry for ourselves. (see Dylan’s quote above)

God wants us to be cheerful givers. People who will give because they want to give – not because they want to be seen by others as people who give or who want a return on their investment. I hope we can all try to take this to heart and begin to understand that a lot of the world’s ideas of “giving” stray a long ways from God’s intention for us.



3 Responses to “Cheerful Giving”

  1. October 16, 2010 at 8:25 am

    This is very thought provoking and so true. Greed and the promise of a 100 fold return really brings a lot of our giving into question.

    May the good Lord help His church, amen.

  2. October 18, 2010 at 8:03 am

    Yes, God loves a Cheerful Giver! You may want to visit our Cheerful Givers nonprofit site at http://www.cheerfulgivers.org for more ideas.

    • October 18, 2010 at 8:24 am

      Sounds like you have a wonderful ministry and we will talk about trying to help you spread God’s love to children. That seems to be religion at its best; Love in action. We will be in touch.

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Wednesday Jan 26th 2011
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