Are You a Cheerful Giver?

Cheerful Giver

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.” 2 Corinthians 9:7

The current attitude that is hitting the pew is the idea that since God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:7) then you only need to tithe whatever amount you can “cheerfully” part with, whether it be two percent, five percent, ten percent, or none. Is this true and is this biblical?

Some people interpret these thoughts and behaviors to mean if they don’t resent the amount they are tithing, and as long as they can feel happy, content, and generous about whatever amount they tithe, then, they can say they are “cheerful” givers. I do not believe that is what God intended at all. Look at the text in context. Since all that we have comes from Him, we should be cheerful and grateful that He allows us to keep the gross majority of what we are given.  We should focus on being cheerful for what He has done for us! So many countries, governments, and agencies require a lot more from us than God does. The fact that He allows us to enjoy such a large part of His blessing should be a great source of happiness to everyone. Yet, so many begrudge Him even the little they are willing to return.

This concept of giving out of our conveniences is directly in opposition to what Scripture says (although nicely convenient!).

Our giving “cheerfully” is the response of our gratitude for what He did for us, not a convenience to our wallets! We may not be mandated to give an exact amount or percentage, since we are under grace and not the law as the Puritans argued, but they gave way more than a mere ten percent! So, look at this verse in its context (2 Cor. 9:6-15), especially verse six, and you will see that this popular thinking is wrong!

This passage is an illustration of farming (Job. 4:8; Prov. 11:18; 22:8; Hos. 8:7; 10:12). Thus, when you give, your gift will be used as a seed that grows into a crop. The more you give, the more bounty there will be in the Kingdom. Both the seed of the gift and the maturity of the person who gives will grow. This is what Paul calls sufficiency, which means to be content in all circumstances. The opposite would be to be self-sufficient, and the book of Jeremiah tells us how much God hates that!

Thus, we need to strive to see the beauty of giving and be cheerfully motivated. And, by the way, this passage has nothing to do with tithing; it was about giving to the poor!

 

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Scriptural Precepts of being a cheerful giver

 

“Isn’t the cheerfulness we feel supposed to come from the opportunity to return this small, required percentage of our blessing to Him rather than from a satisfaction with giving God some fraction of the minimum that he asked us to give?” And the answer everyone to this is…? YEA! (Quotes from a missionary in Asia with whom we work.)

  • Being a cheerful giver is about responding to God, not to our conveniences.
  • Our giving is a pale comparison to the tremendous gift of grace we have been given (John 3:16)!
  • We will end up robbing God when we refuse to give, or give too little. The most important investment we could ever make is in the Kingdom of God (Mal. 3: 8)!
  • Remember, it is not just our money; it is our time, treasure, and talent. So, we give our time, gifts, and abilities of commitment and service to our Lord, and to His Church.
  • We must be aware that our fallen human depravity will get in the way and rationalize the behaviors that we want to do over the call of the Lord!

The precepts listed from inductive research clearly contradict the common postmodern thinking in today’s Church.