“Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7
God wants us to experience the blessings of giving: specifically cheerful giving.
Giving is one of those topics that can make some of us uneasy. However, as Christians, we know God created everything and owns everything; we are merely stewards of His creation. We know whatever God desires, He can accomplish without us, yet God, in His infinite wisdom, knows we benefit by joining Him in His work, and financial giving is one of those ways.
Ministry requires financial support. Every time we walk on the church campus, we see evidence of how First Baptist Dallas has been blessed by cheerful givers. Generous gifts are part of the reason God has caused First Dallas to prosper and reach out to people locally, nationally, and internationally. We all know stories of individuals who have had their lives improved by God through our ministries. We will even hear stories about how serving in one of our ministries has been a blessing. Stories about how cheerful giving has blessed the giver are less common. We are frequently reminded about the ministry results of financial giving, but it is difficult to explain how the giver benefits.
2 Corinthians 9:7 provides: “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”
Whenever trying to understand what God is telling us, we should look at surrounding verses. 2 Corinthians 9:6 tells us: “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.” This is just one of the places where God’s Word tells us we will be blessed by giving of our time, talent, and finances. Sometimes, this is misinterpreted to mean if you give money, you will get even more money—that is not what God is promising.
Unlike the previous verse, 2 Corinthians 9:7 is focused on the giver’s intent and motivation. As many commentaries on this verse have observed, our giving is to come from our hearts with the purpose of doing something pleasing to God. We give because we desire to please God. Jesus said that the way we show our love for God is through our obedience to Him. God gave His Son, Jesus Christ, for us, so we want to give gratefully back to God for His service. We are not to give purely because “we have to” or out of necessity, rather, we should give cheerfully—in a way that displays happiness. By giving in this manner, we will receive the full blessing God desires for the giver.
We are also to give purposefully. Giving should be done carefully with thought and design. God desires that we be good stewards—both when we give to the church and how the church uses its finances. First Dallas just completed its budgeting process for the coming year. A lot of thought and prayer goes into trying to determine the best way to use God’s resources. We are almost at the mid-point of the church’s Mission 1:8 WIN NOW one fund strategic plan for two years. For some, this was another financially difficult year, but the work of the church continues.
The mid-point of the WIN NOW campaign is a good time to reflect on both the challenges and blessings of the past year. When I reflect, I think first about how I have been blessed. My parents are aging, and it has sometimes been difficult to deal with, and yet I am blessed to still be able to spend time with them. They can’t do everything they used to, but there are many things they still enjoy. There are numerous challenges in my life, but most of them are normal things that everyone deals with at some point in their lives. I have two children and four grandchildren. The most important thing I can do for them is to be a good model of how God wants all of us to live. All four of my grandchildren were blessed this July by being able to attend Vacation Bible School, and because of First Dallas’s investment in young children, two of my grandchildren accepted Jesus Christ as their Savior this summer. I can truthfully say I feel greatly blessed, which makes me want to share how I’ve been blessed. I can see many of God’s blessings in my life, especially this past year. By being a cheerful giver, I am an example for my family. By witnessing so many of First Dallas’s programs personally, I know firsthand how my financial gifts to the church bless others. Through giving, I can express my love for how God has blessed me—most importantly, by sending His Son to be my Savior and the Savior of my loved ones.
Questions for Thought
- How have you been blessed during this past year?
- How can you become a cheerful giver?
Director of Finance and Accounting
Sherryn serves with infectious enthusiasm, implementing and maintaining best business practices as part of First Dallas’s commitment to excellent stewardship. Sherryn and her husband, Ross, have a son, daughter, son-in-law, and four grandchildren.