Giving

God Loves a Cheerful Giver - May 2017

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. 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.” (2 Corinthians 9:7-8)

The apostle Paul reminds us of the Law of the Harvest: “whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously.” How simple is that. Each year, every farmer has the same choice. Consume all the seed as food or give some back to the soil to ensure next year’s harvest.

And the same is true with the spiritual harvest where our seeds are our good works, financial giving, prayers, study, service, and worship. If one’s return is determined by his or her investment, then no farmer would sow sparingly or haphazardly and expect a beautiful, bountiful harvest. And neither should we.

The Law of Spirituality is as certain as the law of nature: When we live in the world of the flesh, we are tempted to withhold from God and withdraw from helping others. When we feel God’s abundance, however, we know and experience a bountiful return.

Additionally, God does not value gifts given reluctantly or under compulsion. We feel loved by God every day when we receive God’s gifts, of life and food and family and work, or at least we should. But, does God feel loved when he receives our gifts? Or, is he offended by the spirit in which they are given? That is what it means to be a cheerful giver. We give because we love the recipient.

Jim Wells, Wisconsin United Methodist Foundation

 

Sue Koch