You know God wants you to give money to your church and other organizations that do good work. But fulfilling your duty is one thing, and getting excited by it is another. In fact, you may not be giving as much as God would like you to, because you're just not very motivated.

How do you find the cheerfulness God says in the Bible that He loves to see when people give? Pursue the treasure God wants you to have.

Here are some ways you can discover joy when you give:

  • Realize that investing your money in earthly things will provide a limited and temporary payoff at best. Possessions themselves can't satisfy you, and often end up possessing you rather than vice versa, because they demand so much time and energy to maintain. When you die, you must leave every penny of your money behind.

  • Understand that investing your money in eternal ways is guaranteed to pay big dividends, because God has promised to bless gifts faithfully consecrated to Him and use them in ways that bless the givers and others.

  • Acknowledge that it's God who has given you the ability to earn an income, and that all your money is ultimately His. Commit to managing that money as effectively as possible, relying on God's wisdom.

  • Don't wait until you feel like giving to actually give. Start giving out of obedience - because you know it's what God wants you to do and you want to respond faithfully to God. After you begin to give, God will send you joy, and that joy will motivate you to keep giving.

  • Remember God's generosity - Christ's sacrifice on the cross, and the many blessings God has poured into your life. Seek to express your thankfulness to God by giving as an act of worship, and allow His love to flow through you to others as you act in generous ways.

  • Make sure that your expenditures match your values. If you truly value God's work on earth, you'll give financially to support it.

  • Wholeheartedly embrace God's vision for efforts that you sense Him leading you to support. When you immerse yourself in God's plans, you'll get excited about them, and will want to help bring them to fruition.

  • Get out of debt and avoid future debts so your money isn't tied up in places God doesn't want it to be, limiting your ability to serve Him. Before you buy a particular good or service, ask yourself whether it truly reflects your values, and whether you might do better if you were to spend your money in another way.

  • Talk with others about how God is using your giving to help you grow, and listen to their stories of giving and how they've grown as a result. Together, celebrate God's work in your lives.

Adapted from The Treasure Principle: Discovering the Secret of Joyful Giving by Randy Alcorn, copyright 2001 by Eternal Perspective Ministries. Published by Multnomah Publishers, Inc., Sisters, Ore., www.multnomahbooks.com, 1-800-929-0910.

Randy Alcorn is the author of many other books and the founder and director of Eternal Perspective Ministries. He and his wife, Nanci, live in Oregon.

When you give money to your church or a charity, do you feel a sense of obligation, or a sense of joy, and why? If it's joy, what are some of the ways that experiencing joy helps you continue to give? Visit Live It's forum to respond, or read what others have to say. Just click on the link below.