As I sat down to write this devotional on Monday, I got to thinking that maybe there was more to this passage than I’d considered before. You see, I’ve been reading “The Ministry of Motherhood” by Sally Clarkson and something I read in my chapter this week really stuck out to me.
She speaks about the importance of involving your children in service and in the giving that you do; not only showing them that you are sending money to an organization, but praying with them about where to send your money. Not just talking about serving at a shelter or tithing to your church but letting them be a part of these acts of generous giving. What a great way to apply these verses in 2 Corinthians 9 to our children’s lives as well as our own!
Let’s talk now about verse 7, which says, “Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not C)’>God loves a cheerful giver.”
When I first read this verse many years ago in Bible college, I thought, “Aha! I don’t have to tithe if I don’t feel like it! I’ll just wait until I have enough money and then start tithing.” Let me share with you that my attitude has since changed (and God had to work hard on me with this!) and I now believe that as Christians, we are compelled to tithe and give of our money to God (see Malachi 3:8-12*).
Verse 7 doesn’t give me an excuse to hold back my giving. In fact, the verses surrounding it say that we can give with confidence because God will provide for all our needs. These same verses warn us that, basically, we reap what we sow.
If you’re struggling with tithing/giving/sharing or anything of the sort, I encourage you to pray that the Lord will give you a willing and cheerful spirit. Or, as my grandmother told me once, keep doing what you don’t like to do until you like to do it. That certainly applied to me in the matter of giving! The more I tithed or shared with others (grudgingly at first), the more I saw God’s provision in my life.
I love this commentary from Matthew Henry: “Can a man lose by doing that with which God is pleased? He is able to make all grace abound towards us, and to abound in us; to give a large increase of spiritual and of temporal good things. He can make us to have enough in all things; and to be content with what we have. God gives not only enough for ourselves, but that also wherewith we may supply the wants of others, and this should be as seed to be sown.”
Lord, please give me a cheerful spirit and heart toward those in need. Please give me a willing spirit when it comes to tithing, knowing that You will and always have provided for all of my needs. Amen.
*In a study I read on this topic, it was mentioned that the command to tithe in Malachi only applied to the priests, since that is who Malachi is addressing. However, due to 2 Tim 3:16 which says that all Scripture is useful for teaching, correcting, rebuking and training in righteousness, I believe it is important that as Christians we recognize that these Scriptures are applicable to us as well.