A Return to Giving Cheerfully
BY DANA BYERS, GRACE ATTENDER & VOLUNTEER BLOGGER
ďEach of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.Ē - 2 Corinthians 9:7 NIV
Sometimes a relationship or commitment transitions from a "get to" to a "have to". It can happen a variety of ways. Maybe we're short on time or patience, or maybe circumstances have changed in such a way that our interest wanes. While itís entirely possible that God could lead you to give in a new or different way, He will not ask you to stop giving completely.
Have you ever been in an uncheerful giving situation like this before? I sure have. Maybe you're feeling obligated to do something this very day in which you have no interest.
It could be that you want to stop volunteering at church. Maybe you no longer want to take a meal to your neighbor on occasion. You might even be dragging your heels about answering that phone call from a friend who is just a tad too needy.
But God...I donít really want to give my money. I donít want to have them over for dinner. Think of what I could use that money for instead. Think of how I could take that hour Iíve been volunteering every week and invest it in growing my business instead. God, do you see why this isnít as good an idea as what I have in mind?
Let's look at 2 Corinthians 9:7. The Bible clearly says we can decide in our hearts what to give. And we want to be radically generous, so why not ask God to change our hearts so we stop counting the cost?
Deep down, I believe you want to be cheerful as you give. You fully understand that the time, effort, and interest you'd have to invest to do this thing that suddenly seems a waste of time will not be done with excellence if your heart is counting the cost.
But...how does one return to cheerful giving?
Did you think my advice was going to be to just do it anyway? Well, while it's true that sometimes walking through the motions helps us eventually develop a better attitude, asking God to change our hearts about something can bring about an immediate change!†
Let's try it together.†
"God, you know I'm frustrated about ______________. I don't want to do this anymore. It feels like a waste of time (or money, or a wasted effort). I donít see how great their needs are or how able I am to help meet them. Please help me see this situation through your eyes so I serve with open hands and not with fists closed tightly."
As a community, we desire to be cheerful givers. May we be known for putting ourselves in the shoes of the people or causes we are called to give time or money to. Let us be driven by the vision of being used by God in small ways to make a big difference in othersí lives, all for His glory.†
Have you seen this to be true in your own life? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!