Friday, August 23, 2013

God and the giver


Giving is a tough subject to talk about. There is a lot of guilt associated with the the subject of giving. I wonder if I'm giving enough.. Am I being selfish? There are so many people with desperate needs - shouldn't we, shouldn't I do more? When we talk about giving and generosity the discussion quickly becomes all about us (the donors) OR all about them (the needy). Even in church, we can easily leave God out of the equation. As I was reading 2Cor 9, I noticed that God was mentioned. I need to go back and re-read chapters 8-9 and make a more comprehensive list of what it says about God, but here are two things to whet your whistle.

Remember this saying, “A few seeds make a small harvest, but a lot of seeds make a big harvest.” Each of you must make up your own mind about how much to give. But don't feel sorry that you must give and don't feel you are forced to give. God loves people who love to give. God can bless you with everything you need, and you will always have more than enough to do all kinds of good things for others. The Scriptures say, “God freely gives his gifts to the poor, and always does right.” God gives seed to farmers and provides everyone with food. He will increase what you have, so you can give even more to those in need. You will be blessed in every way, and you will be able to keep on being generous. Then many people will thank God when we deliver your gift.  2 Corinthians 9:6-11 


  • God loves to give and he loves people who share his passion"God loves people who love to give." - Wow, it doesn't say "God loves people who give" but "God loves people who love to give". God is generous and he has a special affinity for people who love to give, because they are like him. I'm a bit of a google geek and when I run into another geek we whip out our phones, talk about this app and that app. "Did you hear that google is going to ...?" There is a natural affinity and friendship that occurs instantly. God feels that way about people who love to give. God loves to give and he loves people who share his passion.
 
  • God supplies the generous person with everything they need to keep on being generous. "God can bless you with everything you need, and you will always have more than enough to do all kinds of good things for others." God can and does bless the generous person, so that he/she can continue to help others and give to those in need. In the Bible the word "bless" is a BIG word. There is great generosity inside the word "bless". Bless is - I ask for a hamburger from McDonald's and God takes me to a 5 star Michelin restaurant. God values generosity so when He sees a generous person he amply provides that person with what he needs to continue being generous. God is generous and he resources those people who share his generous nature. Does this mean that I can force God to give more to me, by giving more to others in need? Let me answer that question with a question "Is that the kind of question a generous person would ask?" 

  • God gives freely and always does right. “God freely gives his gifts to the poor, and always does right.” God gives seed to farmers and provides everyone with food."  God's gifts don't do harm. Sometimes our well meaning gifts do more harm than good, creating dependency or unintended consequences. God gives freely - no strings attached. God doesn't give out of a feeling of compulsion or guilt. No one guilts God into giving something that will ultimately bring harm. He doesn't cave into family or peer pressure. He gives freely, for the right reason and in the right way.  
Lord, I want to be generous like you. I know I will make lots of mistakes in my giving, but let me err on the side of generosity, not stinginess. Help me to say "no" to unworthy causes, and "yes" to the many truly needy people. Help me become a person who "loves to give" just like you.  Amen.