And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.
2 Corinthians 9: 8-11
“Stingy!” my inner voice whispered as I drove past the woman at a busy street crossing. Her young child held a cardboard sign that read, “HELP US, PLEASE!!” They interfered with traffic. I didn’t have my usual coins ready. I dismissed God’s inner whisper to give. A mild resentment surfaced in me.
Leading up to today’s Scripture, Paul seems to be instructing us to prepare, arrange and follow through with giving, “Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not grudgingly given” (2 Corinthians 9: 5). He continues by saying we should give generously with a cheerful heart (2 Corinthians 9:6-8). Had I set aside money in my car for giving, the woman and child I saw might have been a welcome opportunity for me to be helpful to strangers. I could have given with a heart for them.
In today’s verses, Paul reminds the Corinthians to prepare their financial gift in advance so that “your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God” (2 Corinthians 9: 11). Paul emphasizes that giving generates thanksgiving to God. Of course, being proud to be able to support things such as a building project is good, and knowing that you are pleasing God when you cheerfully give towards the year-end fund is a benefit of giving. But Paul takes us deeper than that, emphasizing that the primary effect of giving is thanksgiving to God not only from those who receive but from the givers as well.
It almost goes without saying that the people or ministries in need will be thankful to God for His provision. But what about you, the gift giver? Do you recognize that you are blessed with resources so that you can provide for others’ needs? Blessed that you may be able and willing to help someone else?
Prayerfully consider ways you can meet the financial needs of others. Maybe start by knowing the services that are offered by our Care Ministry or by keeping gift cards or cash on hand to give to those in need.