Have you ever met someone who is generous with their time, their finances, and their support, but they aren’t afraid to let you know it? Or even worse, maybe they hold their generosity over the recipient’s head, just waiting to call in a favor in return. Someone whose generosity actually isn’t generous, but a tool of manipulation? 

I have. And I’ll spare you the details, but this type of “generosity” never leads to life. 

However, in contrast, have you ever met a “cheerful giver?” Someone who would give you the shirt off their back if you needed it, and then they’d never bring it up again. Someone who gives generously, without expectation of repayment or praise? They might not have a lot, but what they do have is spent on the flourishing of others. 

My childhood is full of people who model this generosity. Two of my favorites are Kenny and Beth who gave their time and resources to make sure that the kids in their community were loved and would grow to love Jesus. To this day, when I’m home visiting my parents, they swinging on by to pick up the trash for my dad, wash an elderly person’s car because they saw it needed to be cleaned, or they might even drop off some homemade ice cream for a girl who happens to love & miss Kenny’s ice cream (It’s me. I’m the girl who loves Kenny’s ice cream). 

When Covid-19 hit that same community, people in Kenny and Beth’s church (the same one my parents attend) took up an offering for the waiters and waitresses in their communities who had been furloughed and weren’t making any money. My dad shared that he ran into one of the managers of a local restaurant and they said, “I don’t really go to church, but I might come check out yours.” 

When I think of cheerful givers, the people of a small town in Western Kentucky come to mind, as I am still reaping the blessings of their kingdom-minded generosity even though I haven’t lived there in well over a decade.

In the passages we’re reading today, there’s a lot of talk about sowing and reaping:

“…The person who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the person who sows generously will also reap generously. Each one of you should give just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, because God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace overflow to you so that because you have enough of everything in every way at all times, you will overflow in every good work.” 2 Corinthians 9: 6-8

Take a moment to read the passages again. And after reading, I want you to think about the contrast between the cheerful givers, Kenny and Beth, and the manipulative giver in the first paragraph. The cheerful givers are people who understand that when Luke 6 says “…give, and it will be given to you”, it isn’t talking about personal, self-centered gains. It’s not talking about how giving leads to power. Instead, it’s talking about kingdom gains. 

Let’s look again at 2 Corinthians 9:8. Why does God love a cheerful giver? Because those who give with a generous heart are people who understand that this life is but a vapor and we’re focused on storing treasures in heaven. And I love how in verse 8 it says that our “God is able.” Whew! That small phrase could be a whole sermon in and of itself, but it continues on. Our God is able to make grace overflow in a cheerful giver’s life so much that the grace God pours over them is then seen in their lives through good works. 

A cheerful heart isn’t only for our good. It’s for the good of the Kingdom. According to Scripture, a generous heart leads to a life of good works, and good works glorify our God in heaven (Matthew 5:16). You see, cheerful generosity is radical, and it’s one of the ways God uses His people to bless His creation and point others back to Him. 

It is so easy in the busyness of our days to forget that “…we are His creative work, having been created in Christ Jesus for good works that God prepared beforehand so we can do them” (Ephesians 2:10). It’s easy to forget that we’re building His kingdom, not our own kingdoms. But the way of Jesus is to live a life of generosity, not for our personal gain, but for the glory of His name. 

So today, sisters, wherever the Lord has you, live generously for the sake of His great name. Ask the Lord to create in you a new heart, one that radically gives out of an abundance of joy. Pray and ask the Lord to reveal one way you can be generous this week and point others to an even more generous and loving Father who sent His one and only Son to be the Savior of our world. 

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Brittany Salmon

Brittany Salmon

Brittany Salmon is a freelance writer, an adjunct professor of Global Studies, and an equipping minister for her local church. She is also an orphan care and prevention advocate, and a doctoral student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. She spends her free time eating Chick-fil-A and exploring her new home state of Texas with her husband, four kids, and their dog, Mr. Tom Hanks. You can see what she’s up to on Twitter or Instagram.

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