I have to admit that I do not always give cheerfully. When I am exhausted, and my kids ask me to do one more thing, I don’t always smile and do it. Have you ever been there? You are emotionally drained, and yet others still need you? It is hard to give, when you feel drained yourself.
The bible talks about giving cheerfully. This passage is often used to discuss giving money to the church. Everyone hates to talk about money. The Lord has given us everything, so we need to give 10% of our income back to the Lord. I don’t think it ends there. Being a cheerful giver can mean more than just money. This is not meant to replace giving money. We should not make excuses not to give 10% of our income to the Lord. In addition, we can do more.
We don’t just sow money. “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” Do you give love and kindness? When it is hardest to love, do you love anyway? God does this with us all the time. We do not listen. We sin. At our worst, God welcomes us back with open arms. When your child is throwing a tantrum for the 7th time that day, what do you do? Sometimes, I count to ten and say a prayer for the wisdom of Jesus and heart of Christ for me and my child. Then, I try to console my child. It is not always easy to give, when you feel depleted. Luckily, we can call on God to fill us with the Holy Sprit. God can energize us and recharge us, so we can reach beyond what we are capable of doing. “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”
God may want us to spend our time with others less fortunate. We can write a check every month, which will help people meet their daily needs. Do you think they also need a smile? Someone to listen to them? Someone to talk to? I can recall when my husband lost his job and was out of work for seven months. The phone did not ring often. It was like we had some contagious disease. I remember the few people who reached out, as well as those whose presence was suddenly missing. Or those people that called and said, “Did you get a job yet?” When you take your time to volunteer, God can shine his light through us. God can empower us to give hope and light to others.
The Cheerful Giver
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work. As it is written:
“He has dispersed abroad,
He has given to the poor;
His righteousness endures forever.”
Now may He who supplies seed to the sower, and bread for food, supply and multiply the seed you have sown and increase the fruits of your righteousness, while you are enriched in everything for all liberality, which causes thanksgiving through us to God. For the administration of this service not only supplies the needs of the saints, but also is abounding through many thanksgivings to God, while, through the proof of this ministry, they glorify God for the obedience of your confession to the gospel of Christ, and for your liberal sharing with them and all men,
–2 Corinthians 9:6-13 (NKJV)
Give cheerfully. Volunteer cheerfully. “So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.” When my husband was out of work, we truly appreciated people taking the time to talk to us. It matters how you speak to people. It was nice to hear, “May I send your resume for a job that would be great for you”? Even if nothing came out of it, that gesture meant so much. It was like a strike while we were down, to hear a comment like, “You will never find another job, Don’t ask me to send your resume to my company.” God loves a cheerful giver. Try to lift others up, every chance you get. There are so many ways to be a cheerful giver, in addition to money. If you can give your time and talents to others with a smile, you glorify God. Give your money, time and talents cheerfully and God will be glorified.