God loves a cheerful giver
But this I say: He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver.
In this day and age 'self' is the preeminent. Nothing is more important than self, and that is what sets apart a Christian from any other person. A Christian is one that loves – and he or she who does not love cannot be a Christian. The Apostle John writes: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. (1 John 4:7).
A Christian loves because he or she was first loved by God; it was God’s sacrificial love of his Son Jesus Christ on the cross, that paid for my and your sin, if you believe. John goes further, and to many these are very harsh words – but very true; He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. (1 John 4:8)
The abject self-centeredness of this modern generation fuelled by those that will not discipline nor be disciplined, being totally self-absorbed, only caring about what they can get having no self-control, proud and arrogant, lacking empathy, needing admiration and who ‘melts down’ if slighted or rebuked or not praised (or liked) is driving our society to self-destruction. Worse still, churches tolerate this immoral and antichristian behaviour – and indeed enter into it.
The command to love one another is not just a remark of Jesus that can be ignored: it is a commandment, and a commandment that must be obeyed, to the same extent Jesus did, when he loved you and me and died for our sin.
The verse that Paul pens to the congregation in Corinth relates to the action on the part of one that loves. Sowing is costly, and can be very hard work. It is not self-seeking but rather is outward looking. It’s a metaphor to illustrate the point – one needs to give (for this is the action of love); and to be of love, it needs to be from the heart. A cheerful giver loves from the heart that is fully attuned to those around. This takes practice and forethought. It is not a gamble – but rather a premediated action, for this is what the heart drives. In the same way a farmer does not sow without much preparation or forethought; and with great purpose – to produce a crop with which he can feed the community.
Do you give of your time or money, or material wealth, or intellect freely and cheerfully?