From Reluctance to Joyful Giving

Key Verse: “Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.”
—II Corinthians 9:7

Selected Scripture:
II Corinthians 9:1-13

THE APOSTLE PAUL WAS well acquainted with the poverty of the brethren in Judea. He and Barnabas were sent by the Church of Antioch to them with a gift, when a drought in the land added to their normal hardships. (Acts 11:28-30) The persecution and opposition of the brethren in Judea by the Jews was very severe. Many could not find employment because of the prejudice against them. Hence, at every opportunity the Apostle Paul tried to enlist the aid of brethren in other lands to help them.

It appears that during his two years in Corinth, this matter was discussed and the Corinthian brethren were eager to help those in Judea. This generosity was often mentioned to other congregations by Paul. The trouble and strife that arose in Corinth following Paul’s departure had interfered with their following through with their commitment. There may also have been a reassessment of their commitment by some.

The subject of giving is always a delicate matter. Paul had broached the matter in this letter by calling attention to the Macedonian brethren who had endured severe persecution by their fellow countrymen, but yet were eager to help although impoverished.—II Cor. 8:1-5

The greatest example was our Lord, Jesus Christ, who “though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” (vs. 9) We are to follow his example. Giving must always be from the heart, and never forced. In following the example of our Lord in giving we will be sowing and reaping bountifully.

Paul lays these principles down as being taught in Proverbs 11:24-28. These showed that freewill giving is blessed by God. “One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty.” (Prov. 11:24, New International Version) Several verses quoted below from Proverbs chapter 11, NIV, teach the same lesson:

“A generous man will prosper; he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.”—vs. 25

“People curse the man who hoards grain, but blessing crowns him who is willing to sell.”—vs. 26

“He who seeks good finds good will, but evil comes to him who searches for it.”—vs. 27

“Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will thrive like a green leaf.”—vs. 28

And Proverbs 19:17, NIV reads: “He who is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and he will reward him for what he has done.”

The development of such a spirit of generosity is pleasing to the Heavenly Father. It is for this reason that he loves a cheerful giver. The way of the present evil world, and of the fallen human nature, is to be selfish and is contrary to God’s character. God is always giving, and we are always receiving. The more we give, the more we receive.

The Apostle Paul attributed to Jesus the words, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35) In Luke 14:12-14, Jesus explains this matter.

Dawn Bible Students Association
|  Home Page  |  Table of Contents  |