6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 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. 8 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. 9 As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.”2 Corinthians 9:6-9
Giving is a controversial topic for many people. When we think about giving there are many scenarios that go through our minds. One of our main concerns is this question: if we give more will we have enough for ourselves?
The passage above addresses our questions by showing us the paradox of giving. In short, if we cheerfully give more, God will give us everything we need (vs 8 – not everything we want).
Paul uses the image of planting seeds to communicate the above paradox. If a farmer only planted some of his seeds he would only receive some crops, but if he plants all of his seeds he will be able to receive more crops. Keeping our money and our things to ourselves is like keepings seeds to ourselves. A seed doesn’t have value apart from the plant that is within it. In the same way, our money and possessions don’t have eternal value apart from the Spiritual plant that is within them. As it says in verse 9, freely scattering gifts produces a crop of righteousness. Not only does it produce righteousness, but the righteousness it produces endures forever.
The Spiritual crop from giving generously is righteousness. However, to receive the crop of righteousness our hearts have to be cheerful as we give. If we give out of an expectation of receiving more, or with an expectation that others will follow our lead, then our giving won’t produce righteousness, because we are giving for our own gain.
Our generosity has to flow from our deep understanding of who God is and who we are to Him. When we deeply understand that God is our Father and that we are His children, then we won’t hold so tightly to the things our Father has given us. We will be able to open up our hands and freely give, out of His abundance, to those in need.
Our Father wants to know our heart isn’t holding onto the things He created over holding onto our Father, the Creator.
How can we become cheerful, generous givers?
Father, we come before you and ask for guidance as we navigate what it means to trust in your provision. You are so kind to us in so many ways, yet it’s still hard to trust you with our time, treasure and talent. Forgive us for trusting in financial security more than in your eternal security. May we be people who freely scatter gifts to the poor. Amen.