Yesterday, my fabulous pastor gave us an excellent message on giving. Yes, I know – this turns some folks off. Bear with me though, ok? Got some good stuff here if you hang in there.
One term or thing I thought I should research is “cheerful giver.” Other than the obvious – someone who likes to give – what does it mean for us? And I found two things, which are the following:
- Emulate Christ. Because He gave it all.
- Cheerful giving is a way of life.
But what kind of giver are you? While I cannot vouch for the total theology and doctrine of Boundless, I found the article helpful. Perhaps you will, too.
A few years ago, for reasons still unknown to me, I was asked to be part of a three-series panel discussion on giving at my previous church. Considering math is an abomination to me and I don’t do so great at spending, I was hesitant, but decided to go anyway. Boy am I glad I did!
We didn’t spend our panel discussion the way the other two groups did. We talked about giving. And giving is truly a way of life, because it involves every aspect of your life when you make it a priority.
For instance, every Sunday morning in our Connect Group, our leader asks that anyone thinking about serving could really be used in Kid City or Awana (our childrens’ groups). I squirm a bit here because I do not want to do it. But there are plenty of people who are called for this sort of service, at different seasons in their lives. While I am not called, yes, deep down I think I should sacrifice some of my time to help. But am I considering with a cheerful heart, or out of legalism?
Serving, which I firmly believe is part of giving, is something that I think mostly comes from the heart – a heart of passion and need to do it. But, truth be told, sometimes it’s just good old-fashioned have-to. As in, because I’m a Christian, every now and then I have to do something I don’t want to do. Something I will get zero credit for. Something no one will notice. Yes, it is easy to go to the church service project two Saturdays a year, and feel so very good about yourself.
But service is a life-time choice. Meaning – all the time! Who are you serving? Yourself? Your spouse and children? Helping others is great. It’s the sacrifice of our time we resent. And that, my friend, does not make us a cheerful giver.
Are you hospitable? Do you invite others to your home and share your meal with them? Or, like me, is the thought daunting? Like me, do you want everything to be perfect first? We have quite a lot in common with Martha, don’t we? Here’s part of her story.
Luke 10:38-42 – Now it came to pass, as they went, that he entered into a certain village: and a certain woman named Martha received him into her house. John 11:5 – Now Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. Luke 10:40 – But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
Jesus’ response is priceless. And not at all what we would expect. Watch this!
And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken from her’ ”(Luke 10).
Should we open our homes and our hearts, as well as our hearth, to others? Even if it’s not perfect – not totally clean or neat, or – even worse – we think we won’t have enough? Absolutely, says the Word. Ever notice how much sweeter things taste and seem when shared with friends or loved ones? A little goes a long way. Just the breaking of bread together ensures we are thankful for the Lord and one another. God makes good things happen in those times, doesn’t He?
I would be doing a disservice if I didn’t mention the benefits of giving. While I never advocate thinking of yourself first in these matters, it really does make a difference in your own life! God richly blesses cheerful givers. And by that, I do not mean earthly wealth. I mean spiritual blessings. Which are far more valuable than money, y’all. Will there be some material goodness coming your way? I think so. A little bit, at least. But giving out of the love of your heart sends goodness out into the world, and God reciprocates by providing for your needs.
If you have ever been in need, you can imagine how life-changing it is to have a need met supernaturally. It blows your mind. So start giving y’all, and blessings!