“Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. ‘For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.’ And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. As the Scriptures say, “‘They share freely and give generously to the poor. Their good deeds will be remembered forever.’”
2 Corinthians 9:6-9
Everyday we decide how much of ourselves we are going to give away through our time, our talents, and our treasures. Sometimes we hold back, sometimes we give freely, and sometimes we dispense only under duress. What do you use to determine if you give, what you give, and when you give?
On any given day, there is a myriad of of factors that influence our decisions: our emotions, the potential pay-off, the potential drawbacks, our perspective on what we have. There is also another powerful influence that desires to weigh in on the conversation--the Holy Spirit.
The Holy Spirit brings a wealth of wisdom to the situation when the question of giving arises. He sees the whole picture—past, present, and future, and if we will believe this is true, we can trust His promptings. He will not lead us outside healthy guardrails, so we don’t have to fear stretching ourselves beyond that which God has called us to. Knowing this, we are free to examine things from His point of view. We can be reassured that our giving will not destroy us, that God desires deeply for us to experience His richness, and that this is a partnership that God sees.
All of this enables us to give with joy, to give without strings attached, to give without weighing whether or not we will receive something in return. Why does our posture of giving matter? Because when we give in this way, we communicate to God that we trust Him, that we value what He values—His people. We communicate that we are expectant for the incredible ways in which He will use our offerings. We communicate that we are willing to love as He does.
Are you able to give cheerfully and without strings attached?
Have you felt the prompting of God to give? How did you respond? If He asked you to give something today, how will you respond?
Jesus, help me to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, especially when it comes to giving, so that I can give with a cheerful heart. Amen.