2 Corinthians 9:7
Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
I’ve saved this draft three times and closed my browser. I have a nonspecific anger and am not in a cheerful mood. It is very difficult to considering giving anything to anyone. I’ve yelled at the kids, kicked the dog and am eying up the cat who is shredding my sofa
Isn’t it hard to to give when you feel you are empty? I think instead of focusing on how we should give a cheerful giver–which I know God loves–but what if you aren’t able to give anything–cheerful or not?
I’m not necessarily talking about money–at our church we talk about time, talents and treasures. Giving time and talents cheerfully can be even more difficult than simply writing a check.
If we look at the verses before verse 7, Paul is speaking about farmers reaping what they sow: 6Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.
Ah, then we have a problem here–if I don’t give because I feel empty, then I will continue to be empty. If I willingly give as much as I have–NO MATTER HOW LITTLE I THINK IT IS–I will be refilled generously. Paul goes on to say: 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others.
So it is when we are most empty that we must make the biggest effort to give. I know it can be hard sometimes. We get short with people–frustrated with others who don’t seem to recognize our efforts. We feel our small effort is unimportant and not needed. We feel that if our contribution isn’t big and impressive that it isn’t important.
I remember one Sunday I was packing up my stuff after the end of the service. My children seem to shed “stuff”–coats, bags, paper–and it was taking me a few moments to gather everything. I noticed that one of the ladies in the church had gone behind the alter and returned with a little swiffer sweeper thing and was sweeping up the crumbs from our communion. Coming up from the back of the church was another member who was picking up the programs that had been left by members. Two very insignificant tasks. Two activities that I never realized ever occurred in our church. But we had another service arriving in a few moments and if they were to have the same experience I’d had, the crumbs needed to be swept and the programs collected. What’s more, someone had done the same thing before I’d entered the sanctuary for my service. Small but important. More important than the choir’s music or the Pastor’s message? No. But no less important either.
Mother Theresa once said, “None of us can do anything great on our own, but we can all do a small thing with great love.”
So the littlest offering–be it time, talents or treasures–given with a cheerful (or even hopeful) spirit will be replenished. Don’t do it because you have–do what you have decided to do in your heart.