The opportunity to give to others is a blessing for the giver and receiver. It does not matter whether the gift is money, a present, or something that cannot be bought. If you are the giver you enjoy the satisfaction of knowing that you made someone’s day brighter. If you are the receiver, you are happy that someone cared enough to perform an act of kindness for you.
Attitude of the Giver
In 2 Corinthians 9, Paul describes the attitude that the brethren giving money to help others in need should have. In any act of giving, we should have these characteristics:
- Generosity: If we want a bountiful harvest, we must sow a lot of seed, verse 6. Although this passage has been abused by some “health and wealth” teachers, the principle is that what we accomplish relates to what we invest. Not every gift has to be expensive, or cost anything at all, since the thought put into selecting the gift or the effort to make a gift creates great value that will be appreciated by the recipient.
- Purposeful: A well received gift will also be the product of preparation and planning, verse 7.
- Cheerful: When you give a present because you feel like you have to, it takes away much of the joy of giving (and probably for the receiver as well). We should not give because we feel like we have to or are forced to (verse 7)
God Supplies So We Can Provide
The most important reason a Christian should be generous is that he has received so much from God! (verses 8-12)
God has supplied our physical, spiritual, and emotional needs which provides us opportunity to share what we’ve received from God with others. Christians should recognize that blessings should flow through them to others. So we receive both the benefit of being blessed by God and the opportunity to serve others. Consider some ways we can help others with the blessings we received from God:
- Comfort – 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 tells us that we have received comfort from God in order to provide comfort to others.
- Forgiveness – We have been freely forgiven of our offenses by God. How can we not also freely forgive others? Ephesians 4:32
- Money – Since we have been physically blessed by God, we need to use what we have to His glory. Sometimes this may be by using money to help others. It can also include using the things money bought (house, car, computer, work tools) to serve others and help them in a time of need.
- Time – We need to be good stewards of our time as well as our money. Since God gives us every moment we should be generous in giving our time to those who need us. We should not be so concerned with time during worship since it is time spent glorifying God and feeding on His word. If we constantly squander our time on selfish and empty pursuits we deny others the help they need and will regret it in the future.
Romans 8:32 tells us God freely gives us all things. If we have received freely, freely we should give. Sometimes we pray “God bless <person>.” We need to see how we can use what God has blessed us with to be a blessing to the person for whom we are praying.