There is a right and wrong way to give. When you give, the blessing God wants to give you can be stolen from you should you give in a wrong way. So what is the right way to give? Cheerfully. “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.” (2 Corinthians 9:7) Paul makes it very clear God doesn’t just love a giver, He loves a cheerful giver. Back to my kids and the french fries: I don’t want them to let me have a few fries only to hear them grumble and complain about it later. What I want is for them to have grateful hearts and be joyful because I gave them fries. What I want is for that joy to so fill them they can’t wait to share their fries with me because of our relationship as father and child. I love it when they give cheerfully and it makes me want to bless them with even more fries, so to speak.
Not only are we to give cheerfully, but we are to give generously: “Since you excel in so many ways—in your faith, your gifted speakers, your knowledge, your enthusiasm, and your love from us—I want you to excel also in this gracious act of giving.” (2 Corinthians 8:7) Look at the wording Paul uses; he wants us to excel at giving. To be generous. There is no greater generosity than that of Jesus giving His life on the cross. God excels at generosity and wants to see this same characteristic in us as His children.
Have you ever had someone give you something and then they complain about it? Or perhaps they held it over your head by reminding you of how generous they were to you, and you wondered if they wished they never gave it to you in the first place. Can you imagine God, your loving, Heavenly Father, ever saying to the other members of the Trinity, Jesus the Son and the Holy Spirit, “Those humans are so wasteful of My gift of salvation, I wish I had never given it to them at all.” No way! It could never happen because His giving was born of love. The wrong way to give is out of obligation or begrudgingly. Giving is a heart issue.
Not too many years ago, I needed to sell a car Kathy and I owned. It was time to upgrade for two simple reasons: the mileage was too high for the distances we travel and the capacity of the car wasn’t enough for all our children. I hate selling cars. It’s just not my thing, period. Knowing this a former friend offered to sell it for me. We agreed I would pay him a percentage of the sale for his time and effort. He sold it for a fair price. I went to pay him his percentage and he wouldn’t accept the money saying he just wanted to bless our family by selling the car for us. A few years later I received an email from this man complaining about the fact that he sold our car and I never paid him for his efforts. I immediately told him that I was sorry he felt I had done him wrong and I put a check in the mail to him for the amount we originally agreed upon and added in an appropriate amount of interest. The check was cashed, and I never heard another word from him.
Being a cheerful giver is a heart issue, it’s not about just doing the right thing. Its about being so in love with your Heavenly Father, knowing and trusting Him as the provider of all your needs and genuinely understanding it is more blessed to give than to receive. It is clear that a truly joyful giver, a person who gives the right way, will be blessed.