Giving is About Thankfulness for What God is Doing…
Indecision can really wear us out, can’t it? I face indecision every time Lori and I want to go to the movies. I throw out a suggestion, and she just kinda waffles. I suggest another movie, and she doesn’t really say anything. I suggest a third option and she shrugs her shoulders. Finally I’m like, “Why don’t you just tell me what movie we’re seeing.” This might not happen if I stopped suggesting guy movies, but still. Indecision wears us out. It takes something fun, like a movie, and makes it stressful! Here’s the deal: stress is a decision that hasn’t been made. If we want to reduce stress, we need to decide. This plays out in our generosity.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (New Living Translation): 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.
God loves a cheerful giver. He loves someone who decides in their heart what to give, rather than in response to pressure (from inside or outside). That way, you give what God wants you to give, and you give what God has given you to give, rather than what guilt has harassed you to give. You shouldn’t forgive someone because they guilt you into it. You need to decide in your heart to release them from the payback. You shouldn’t volunteer your time doing something you hate just because no one else will do it…that’s not cheerful giving. You need to decide in your heart, “This is what God is calling me to do.” When you decide in your heart, giving becomes less about worry and more about worship. It’s less about what you feel pressured to do for God and more about thankfulness for what God is doing.