The Hilarious Giver
Our recent participation in the North Texas Giving Day online giving event led me to reflect on the many scriptural passages on the topic of financial responsibility toward God. This event has also given me the opportunity to say “thank you” in a special way to all who participated. There’s joy in saying “thank you” as well as in giving.
I love the following passage:
Remember this: The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. Each person should do as he has decided in his heart—not reluctantly or out of necessity, for God loves a cheerful giver (2 Corinthians 9:6-7).
Here, the word “cheerful” comes from the same Greek word from which we get the word hilarious—hilaros—which embodies: 1. Readiness of mind 2. Joyousness 3. Prompt to do anything. The idea is that cheerful—hilarious—supporters of the gospel anticipate opportunities to share their financial resources in a spontaneous, eager, willing, and joyful manner. This is in stark contrast with those who give reluctantly out of a sense of obligation.
In this regard, my Life Essentials Study Bible, Principle #16, p. 1605 in 2 Corinthians provides an important framework with comprehensive guidelines:
To live in God’s will, we are to follow biblical guidelines for using and sharing our material resources.
Here are these biblical guidelines that the Holy Spirit has given us through Paul in 2 Corinthians Chapter 9:
- God wants us to take a step of faith and trust Him to enable us to give based on our future income.
- God wants us to plan our giving so we can give with a positive attitude.
- God wants us to give material gifts generously so that He can bless us generously—often in non-material ways.
- God wants each of us to be cheerful.
- God desires to meet our material needs—not necessarily our wants—when we are generous givers.
- When we are generous, God will enable us to continue to be generous, even with what little we may have.
- When we are generous, we will cause other believers to praise and glorify God.
- When we are generous, other Christians will respect and love us.
- The primary motivating factor for being generous should be God’s generosity toward us.
Thanks again for supporting our ministry of Renewal through the Word of God—which is the means God uses to renew our minds and enable us to walk in His good, pleasing, and perfect will (Romans 12:1-2)
Life Essentials Study Bible
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