2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (New International Version)
“Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.”
The verse above is usually associated with explaining the biblical principle of tithing. Unscrupulous pulpit pimps have also perverted it to fund their own lavish lifestyles. On the other hand, many noble men of God have rightly divided this word to guide many out of financial oppression. I am one of those people. But for men like Bishop Kenneth Ulmer of Faithful Central Bible Church, Authors, Craig Hill and Earl Pitts, of Family Foundations, and Pastor George Thompson, also of Faithful Central Bible Church, and blogger for Elev8.com, I would have remained ignorant of God’s perspective on money and giving. If you have questions about questions and/or concerns about finance as it relates to the kingdom of God, I strongly recommend that you investigate what the bible teaches for yourself. Additionally, seek out trusted sources for information on the topic. One of my favorite books on the subject is Wealth, Riches, & Money, written by Craig Hill and Earl Pitts. I recommend reading it right along side the bible and comparing its interpretation of the bible with your own. You may not agree with everything the authors teach, but you will be more knowledgeable on the subject of kingdom finances. Better yet, read the book with your small group and discuss it in depth. But alas, I digress.
The point of this verse is to address the attitude of the giver. God-directed giving is an opportunity to join God in his work. Whether you are tithing, donating clothes to your favorite charity, volunteering at your kids’ school, or helping out a friend, God as always, cares about the condition of your heart. I haven’t studied Greek in a very long time, but the word that the NIV has translated as “cheerful” also means “hilarious.” Verse eight above, could read, “God loves a hilarious giver.” God means for giving to be something we enjoy and participate in willingly. Anything that God encourages will always be for our good and for his glory. I can tell you from personal experience that giving regularly has improved the quality of my life on so many levels, the least of which is experiencing the privilege of being Christ’s arms and legs here on earth.
Pastor George will likely address giving in great detail in some of his blogs. But I just wanted to put before you some questions. What kind of giver are you? If you do not give, what prevents you from doing so? I encourage you to remember that giving is not strictly financial. If you have assets, time, talents, passions, abilities, then you can give. In these tough economic times, it is tempting to focus on yourself and your own needs. But I encourage you to lift your eyes. There are people around you in need – people you can help. If you’re willing, pray about where God can use you and watch out for opportunities. Giving has the power to change your perspective, if you do it God’s way. Please look around for those in need, then do what you can – with hilarity.
Be blessed Family!
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