There’s one thing that instantly puts up my defenses, and it’s when people ask for money, or try and sell me something. I often hide when the doorbell rings unless I know a neighbor or friend is stopping by. I hate having to tell someone “I’m not interested. Thanks”, and finding a way to tell them that 3 times before they finally give up.
If I’m honest, I still see money in our banking account as mine versus God’s most days. I don’t want to spend it or give it away. I want to save it for whatever will come our way. That’s not necessarily a bad thing – it all depends on my heart.
The Corinthians were struggling with this too. Paul encourages them in 2 Cor. 9:6-11:
6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need,you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written:
“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
their righteousness endures forever.”
10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
Now keep it mind, this verse is not about giving, so that you will be blessed. The prosperity gospel is something easy to believe, but it’s not true completely. Paul is telling us that God is going to provide for us, so we have to first trust that. Second, he tells us that it’s all about our heart. Are we giving reluctantly, or are we giving because we feel we have to? If you feel like you have to, I would say pray more about it until you are giving with a joyful heart. Keep in mind, this isn’t just about money. It could be our time, or other resources.
Today, I would encourage you to take the time to think about your motivation to give. What is your motivation? Why do you feel compelled to give? Talk to God about it today, and see if you need to have a motivation change.
Have more time? Want to go deeper?
- Read the story of King David in 2 Samuel 24:17-25. What can you learn from King David here about giving?
- Make a list of areas where you struggle to give with a joyful heart. Pray through each of those areas with God, and ask Him to change your heart.