I have a long-time friend who was involved in a ministry position for more than 40 years. I was asking him how he had made it financially over all these years. He said that he earnestly believes that God has blessed him in that many of the “big bills” that a household would typically have, he had not experienced them. He said that he had not had many medical bills, furnace, refrigerator, or car repairs. “God has allowed me to live better on 90% than on 100% of my income.” He was able to own a home, drive a car, and raise a family of two children on a small income. However, he did not claim that it was his abilities, but God’s blessings. He is a servant of God who was able to give generously.
In a survey of the book of 2 Corinthians, a reader will find a lengthy discussion from the Apostle Paul on giving. Paul was collecting funds for the needy followers of Christ that remained in Jerusalem. The Corinthians had promised to give a large amount, but because of some false teachers trying to turn the Corinthians away from Paul’s instructions, the Corinthians had not sent the promised gifts. Paul, in chapters 8 and 9, appeals to the Corinthian Church to keep their promise. Moreover, in his appeal, we receive a divine principle in giving.
In 2 Corinthians 9:6-8, he writes, “The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”
God is not concerned with how much you and I can give back to His work, but He is concerned with the attitude that we have toward giving. He reveals the principle that if you give “sparingly,” then we receive “sparingly.” However, the principle works in both directions. If we give “bountifully,” then we can receive “bountifully.” Again, sparingly and bountifully are more of our attitudes toward giving. In today’s culture, we are taught to try to get as much as we can. On the other hand, I love the teaching that each one of us can give cheerfully, “Having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.”