2 Corinthians 9:6-8 The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work
The Apostle Paul talks about two approaches to giving; how to give and how not to give. He instructs us not to ‘give sparingly and reluctantly’, but instead to ‘give generously and freely’.
The one who gives ‘sparingly and reluctantly’ is one who gives some, but still withholds – you know, like Ananias and Sapphira. Sure, they’ll give something; they may even tithe. But they approach God with their money like this; “God, I will give to you what I will give to you and I will hold the rest back for myself. What’s the least that I need to give to follow Christ? 10%, I heard? Deal. Lock me in on those terms. I will give you 10%. I will keep 90%. This small pile is yours. This big pile is mine.”
Well, what if God wants some from that big pile?
What if God wants all of the big pile?
Who is the master of our lives – God, or the big pile?
Either the big pile belongs to God, or the big pile is our God.
To be ‘generous’ and ‘free’ in our giving is to not ‘withhold any of our pile’ from God, in the same way that He did not withhold His son, but rather gave Him completely over for us as a sacrificial offering. So that by His offering we could receive forgiveness of sin and liberty from death, not by our merit, but by His grace.
So, the whole ‘His pile/my pile’ approach seems a bit insulting, doesn’t it? Following Jesus begins with surrender – including a surrender of your whole pile. The question isn’t ‘how much do we dare to give?’ The question is ‘how much do we dare to keep?’
He is faithful. He is able.
Written by Steve Burgess