If we are generous in giving, does it matter how we give? Surely it is what we give that counts, and not how we give it? Well,the Bible is quite clear about this. It says, in II Corinthians Chapter 9:
Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.II Corinthians 9:7
That was Paul writing to the Corinthians in and the original word we translate as ‘cheerful’ is ‘hilarious’. Giving that is a sheer joy, even the word ‘reckless’ is not as silly as we think. In fact, there is another saying of Jesus not written in any of the Gospels, but it was certainly widely known and used by the early Christians. How do we know what he said? Answer:it was one of those sayings of Jesus which all his followers knew and passed on verbatim, so that when the Apostle Paul was speaking to the church elders on the beach at Miletus, on one of his journeys down the coast of Turkey, he said
In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive’.” Acts 20:35
It is indeed a blessed thing to give, rather than always to think of getting and the way we give is so important.Grudging giving is an offence:calculated giving is but a banking investment; selfish giving for ever wants to be thanked – but hilarious, cheerful, Christian giving springs from the very heart of Jesus who loved us so much that he gave himself to us totally. If you don’t believe me, look at the radiant face of Ebenezer Scrooge on Christmas Day, and compare it with his mean face on Christmas Eve.
Listen to Jesus again:
So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. Matthew 6:2
Help us, good Lord, to give and not to count the cost ….. this very day.
Now read II Corinthians Chapter 8.