The Word: Does God really care if you’re a cheerful giver?
I often wonder what God thinks. I wonder if when he is searching through our hearts and our minds, assessing our motives our weaknesses and our strengths, what his opinion is of what we do and how we act. I hear so often that “God loves a cheerful giver” that I wonder what does He do with the person who is not cheerful about giving and what does He do with what they give? Think about it for a moment. If you donate money to the church and you do it because, one, you genuinely want to contribute your tithe or your offering out of love for the church and the furtherance of God’s kingdom on earth or, two, you do it out of obligation to that 10 percent rule and calling or three because you want to look good to others when you throw that whopping $20 in the offering plate or four just because it looks bad if you don’t. Does God reject the offering? Does the church refuse the gift?
I haven’t seen it happen yet in any church. And for that matter, the donation is still going for the purpose of furthering the Gospel message, sustaining the church and its involvement in the community and for the furtherance of God’s kingdom. Regardless of what the givers motive is I believe that there is biblical evidence for the significance and the acceptance and utilization of the gift.
Philippians 1:15-18 reads:
15 Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will:
16 The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds:
17 But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defense of the gospel.
18 What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
Whether for pure or impure reasons Paul rejoices that in any case the Gospel is being preached. If that is true of preaching the Gospel, then shouldn’t apply to giving? The gifts given to God, regardless of motive would seem to be used for God’s purpose. So does God care if you are cheerful about it or do it out of obligation, guilt, selfish motives or to look good?
I think the answer is found in this phrase “Bless the gift and the giver.” I think in either case, God blesses what is given. God takes what is given and uses it for His purpose regardless of our purpose for giving it. The gift is blessed. When we do it with a cheerful heart; out of love without expectation of return; without selfish reasons, then too, the giver is blessed.
I think He cares. I think we should care as well when it comes to our attitude and motive for giving to the Lord. Let’s be blessed for it by doing it for the right reasons.
Barry Vassar is the pastor at Fitzgerald Memorial Baptist Church. His email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
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