Guest Author, Scott Landon, Executive Pastor, Wheaton Bible Church
A friend recently said that when he stopped to think about the often quoted words of 2 Corinthians 9:7—“God loves a cheerful giver”—his response was, “So how much do I need to decrease my giving so that I can give joyfully?”
At least he was honest! Would we admit to a similar feeling?
The subject of giving is touchy for many believers—even those who are ‘mature.’ And talking about giving isn’t always warmly received. But since the Bible has more to say about money than about any other subject, we should talk about money more—not less.
For my friend, further study of what the Bible teaches about money and giving had a dramatic impact. As he reflected on the generosity of God in giving His only Son, he realized that his own giving paled in comparison.
Far from his days of, “How low can I go?” he now finds great joy in giving. He even leads a giving initiative at his church that will result in reaching more people with the Gospel.
What happened? His heart changed as he studied the scriptures. One passage that helped was Matthew 6:21: “Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Generosity isn’t a money thing nearly so much as it is a heart thing.
Jeff Anderson, author of Divine Applause, makes that point well:
“Giving is not what you do after you straighten out your finances. Giving is what you do after you straighten out your heart.”
If giving is a touchy subject for you, I suggest you take the same mental journey as my friend. Start by meditating on Matthew 6:19–34. Be honest with God, and let His Word speak into your heart and mind.
Money can be a powerful magnet that attracts our hearts away from Jesus—or it can be a tool of transformation in our lives. At its core, biblical giving is an act of willing—even enthusiastic—obedience.
Seeing our generosity as a heart condition—not a dollar amount—is an important first step in getting money right. Let’s ask God for hearts that are overwhelmed by gratefulness to Him for all He has done for us—hearts like the people in the Macedonian churches:
“For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the Lord’s people.” —2 Corinthians 8:3-4
If giving is a privilege then we will not look for how little we can give, but how much.
How about you? Are you determined to see how ‘low you can go?’ Take a mental journey into the bible like my friend with this free downloadable bible study, "Creating Your Personal Giving Plan."
To download, please right click and download file.