Giving as Christ Sees Fit

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.” (ESV)

At times, the church finds it very difficult to talk about finance and money. Some because they find it awkward. Other’s because they don’t want to offend anyone. Some because they’ve had terrible experiences surround finances and spirituality. However, Jesus spoke a lot about money. More than love. More than heaven or hell. eleven of the 39 parables Jesus speaks in the gospels are about money.

Why is there such an emphasis about money? I think the answer is found in Matthew 6:19-21 “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”

Money is an earthly treasure. It is also a seductive one at that. Men will chase after money. Wives will worry over there being enough money. Children will beg for it to buy the latest toys or candies. We’ll spend it to ‘Keep up with the Jones’. Money is a beautiful thing to have. It, however, is also a terrible master who keeps asking for more.

I believe God is interested in our money because when push comes to shove and we have to choose whether we trust in money or in God, where will our loyalties lie? It’s hard to trust in God and easy to trust in money when our car breaks down. Money will fix our car. Money can buy a new car. Money can ‘solve’ our immediate problem. But would we still call God ‘good’ if we didn’t have the money for our car? It would sure be nice to keep that small percentage of our wealth instead of giving it to God.

Paul calls us in his second letter to the Corinthians to decide what we will give to God. We don’t all have to give the same. We don’t all have to give equally. But Christ does call us to give and to give cheerfully. This is a discussion between you and God and you and your spiritual leaders. Why are you deciding to give what you are giving. Why are you deciding not to give? How is Christ directing you and your heart and are you following him?

If Christ is Lord over your life, he will break down our dependence on money. He will increase our love, affection and dependence on him. But we must engage in the method. If Christ asks you to give, you must give. If we call ourselves Christ followers, will we follow and will we follow cheerfully?

Prayer for the day: Generous God, I want to be a cheerfully giver, to give it my best effort. I know that discipline in this area is crucial. Give me the wisdom not to compare, the strength to sow generously, and the faith to leave the results in your hands.” Lord Jesus, make me generous as you were, when you laid down your life. You gave everything for me your enemy so I may become your brother. May I be generous like that.

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