Giving is a lesson that we take time to learn and grasp. We learn of it through the scriptures and the more we read of such scriptures and through our personal experiences, we come to understand that giving is not just a choice; it is to be part of us.
One thing that has consistently helped me to learn to cheerfully give is what I have personally gone through. How God has provided for me even when I haven’t deserved it has been a lesson to me, that I don’t give so as to expect back, but to have the true image of God. Only God freely and cheerfully gives, the devil can’t freely give, neither can he (the devil) genuinely urge anybody to give, it is not his nature. In Psalms 24:1; “The earth is the Lord’s and all that is therein”. This has taught me that none is mine I am simply a steward. I have come to learn that we don’t give to God because He lacks, but that He is the one from whom the much needed blessing (Proverbs 10:22) comes from, as such, if I need more blessing, I have to give, just as a sower who yearns to multiply his seed does.
We are stewards, according to the Holy Scriptures, we came with nothing and we will return with nothing (Job 1:21), (Luke 16:11-12). So we are not even giving per Se, much more so to God, because you can’t give someone what already belongs to Him (God), to give is to sow for more harvest, if you don’t give, you are simply sabotaging your next season’s harvest.
Jesus gave in form of offering Himself as a sacrifice for the salvation of many; in return, He has reaped victory for all who accept Him as Lord and Saviour. What follows cheerful giving is cheerful reaping. Amen. However, the question is; who do we give? When we give, what does it mean? Have you given to God by giving a person in need? Many of us have nursed a feeling over time that if we are giving to God, where and how is He involved in this? If all is God’s, why then does He ask us for the little we have? But how could we imagine in real life if we have eaten all the seeds but be able to reap in the next season?
We have come to brand those in need as simply lazy people who do not want to work and therefore find themselves in such a state that they only have to be given. On the other hand though, it is also true that many people have turned out to be just lazy only expecting handouts from others who have only managed to earn by expending themselves. All the above is true, but it is also true that not all who hard work equally reap, some people surely need the blessing of God so as to make it in life. By this therefore, it is important to give, “not to God directly” per Se, all is His and if He was hungry, He would not ask us for anything because all is His.
He doesn’t eat food as we do, He doesn’t need a car or a piece of land, all is His, according to the scriptures. However, scripture (Mathew 25:31-46) says if we visit the sick, help the needy, feed the hungry, visit the prisoners, etc, we will have done it to God. Why? Because the people you are doing it to are created in the image of God. Everybody has the capacity to give at whatever scale it may be, it is counted by God because it is not what you have given, it is the heart from which and the spirit in which you have done so. It is not bad to be rich, but your riches should be to the glory of God, How? We ought to use our riches in the service of God thereby cheerfully giving. I have learnt to cheerfully give because I have cheerfully been given, not once, not twice but so many times.
We can learn to be a cheerful giver by studying the greatest giver this world has ever known: Jesus Christ. Leaving behind the riches and glory of His heavenly kingdom, He came to Earth and willingly gave His life so that we could keep ours. As God predestined His children to be conformed to the likeness of His Son (Romans 8:29), there can be no better way to emulate Jesus Christ than by giving selflessly the way He did. Our Savior Himself told us, “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35). Quite simply, then, our greatest motivation for cheerful and generous giving should be that it pleases the Lord and reflects His gift of salvation to us.
The second letter to the Corinthians reveals a number of inspiring truths that should help us become more cheerful givers. As Paul wisely admonished the Corinthians, “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Corinthians 9:6). This indelible truth was also stated by Solomon a thousand years earlier: “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of all your crops; then your barns will be filled to overflowing” (Proverbs 3:9-10). And Christ Himself told us, “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap” (Luke 6:38). Indeed, “Good will come to him who is generous” (Psalm 112:5).
This principle is unfailingly clear we cannot out give our gracious Creator. The more we give in service to the Lord, the more we will get in return. In fact, the only place in the Bible where God invites us to test Him is Malachi 3:10 where He is talking about our offerings made unto Him: “Test me in this, says the LORD Almighty and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and poor out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” Once more, the words of Solomon echo this: “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty. A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed” (Proverbs 11:24-25).
As Paul stated, “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Corinthians 9:7). Cheerful giving, therefore, should be a way of life for the Christian who understands the grace of God. When we give generously and with a willing heart, God assures us He will watch over us and provide for us (Isaiah 58:9; Psalm 41:1-3; Proverbs 22:9; 2 Corinthians 9:8, 11). And we need to remember that it’s not just our treasure that we are to cheerfully give back to God. As King David pointed out, everything we have is from God (1 Chronicles 29:14), and this includes our talents and our time as well. As our days are numbered (Psalm 139:16), our time indeed belongs to God. And any gifts we have are also from Him; therefore, “each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Peter 4:10).
For God so loved the world that He gave. We would do well to remember that we are saved because our God so generously gave (John 3:16). As His children, we are called to be “the light of the world” (Matthew 5:14). When we trust God and honor Him by generously giving our time, treasure, and talent, we are truly letting our light shine before men, and our goodness will reflect radiantly on our Father in heaven.