Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Our Motive in Giving
But I want it to be a willing gift, not one given under pressure. —2 Corinthians 9:5
The story is told of Billy and Ruth Graham and an experience they had in church one Sunday. As the offering was being received, Billy reached in his pocket and meant to pull out a five dollar bill. Instead, he pulled out a 50 dollar bill and didn’t discover it until he already had placed it in the offering plate. He was a little horrified by what he had done and turned to his wife Ruth and said, “Well, at least I will get a reward in heaven for giving 50 dollars.”
“No,” Ruth said, “you are going to get a reward for five dollars, because that is all you meant to give.”
Motive is everything, because God looks on the heart. The Bible tells us that “God loves the person who gives cheerfully” (2 Corinthians 9:7). The word used for “cheerful” could be translated “hilarious.” This suggests a joy in giving that leaps over all restraints. Amazingly, as Paul urged the Corinthians to give, he cited the Macedonian believers who were relatively impoverished in comparison to the Corinthian believers. In speaking of them in 2 Corinthians 8:2, he said, “Though they have been going through much trouble and hard times, their wonderful joy and deep poverty overflowed in rich generosity.” How do the terms “much trouble,” “hard times,” “deep poverty” and “rich generosity” fit together in one verse? They fit when people have discovered the joy of giving.
Giving is not a luxury of the rich. It is a privilege of the poor and of everyone, not just for people who have disposable income. Giving is a responsibility. It is an opportunity. And it is a blessing for every follower of Jesus Christ.
For more relevant and biblical teaching from Pastor Greg Laurie, go to www.harvest.org.
Copyright © 2006 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved. Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.,