2 Corinthians 9:6-8 - Some Principles on Cheerful Giving.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 - Some Principles on Cheerful Giving.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (TNIV) Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly
will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap
generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to
give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful
giver. 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
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (NLT) Remember this--a farmer who plants only
a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants
generously will get a generous crop. You must each decide in your heart
how much to give. And don't give reluctantly or in response to
pressure. "For God loves a person who gives cheerfully." And God will
generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you
need and plenty left over to share with others.
2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (CWR) Don't forget that a person who sows
only a few seeds will harvest only a small crop, but a person who
sows many seeds will reap a large harvest. Let each person think
about how much he should give and make up his own mind. In that way,
he will be more likely to give from his heart, not because he feels
forced to give. God loves for people to give cheerfully, not
grudgingly. He is able to give you back more than you need, either
materially, spiritually or both, so that you will have enough of everything
and may abundantly support every good work.
It's a law of nature. If you don't plant seeds, you can't
harvest a crop. If you plant only a few seeds, you can at least harvest
a small crop. If you plant much, you can hope to harvest much.
Paul is telling us that the same law holds true in the
spiritual realm. Those who are stingy toward God and others can expect few
blessings in terms of others being generous toward them. Generosity is
catching, and we influence those around us, including our children. If
they see that we are tight-fisted, they will tend to grow up to be
tight-fisted and stingy. What and how we sow has its effects as our influence
ripples across space and time.
God doesn't merely want us to give and to give secretly (as we
have noted during the past few days), but He wants us to give
One of my favorite Bible stories about cheerful giving is the
story of the widow who put two mites into the Temple treasury. The
cash value of her offering was extremely small, yet Jesus "called
unto him his disciples, and saith unto them, Verily I say unto you,
That this poor widow hath cast more in, than all they which have cast
[large amounts] into the treasury. For all they did cast in of their
abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her
living" (Mark 12:43, 44).
Her offering was recognized in heaven because her heart was in
it. She was a cheerful giver. That is what God wants from each of
us. He wants us to give from our hearts. More important than the
amount is the spirit in which we give our offerings.
The very purpose of giving is to make us more like God the
Father and Jesus the Son, who gave of themselves that we might be
blessed both here and hereafter. God desires me to be a cheerful giver.
[Walking With Jesus By Knight]
The word translated decide (NLT) or decided (TNIV) in vs. 7
should perhaps have been translated "determined" in his heart. It
emphasizes the consciousness and deep conviction which is to be reflected
as each of us considers how much to give.
It is no wonder that so many Christians are uncomfortable with
the freedom that we have been given in Christ. Perhaps we realize
that with freedom comes responsibility, and this we are not ready to
Certainly the church has generally failed to teach freedom and
responsibility in the area of giving. We try instead to import an Old Testament
standard that, while it relieves us of the responsibility to "determine
in our hearts," also robs us of the joy of freely choosing to
express our love for the Lord and our commitment to our brothers and
sisters. Paul, at least, while urging generosity, is careful to impose no
false demands or set up percentage standards for others. He protects
both freedom and responsibility, convinced that once freed,
Christians will be responsible.
May we have this same confidence in God, in ourselves, and our
brothers. [Victor Bible Background Commentary]
Giving Involves Head and Heart (9:7). As the Word Study above
pointed out, we are to carefully evaluate and "decide" what we will
give. This not only emphasizes personal responsibility, but also
careful and rational evaluation. But what principle should we use in
evaluating? The answer is suggested in 8:13. We are to look at what we have,
and look at what others need. And then, balancing what we have
against what others need, make our choice.
But the kind of giving Paul is exploring here is not simply a
matter of the head. It is also a matter of the heart. Once we have
decided what is appropriate, we are to make our contribution cheerfully,
"for God loves a cheerful giver." The word "cheerful" (hilaron) is
the source of our word, "hilarious." Giving is to be joyful, a
delight. When our heart is in the gift, all sense of obligation or
begrudging is absent, and the act of giving is purified, a sacrifice which
God approves and whose maker He loves.
It would be wrong to discourage any offering which is made
without a sense of joy. If we did, the recipient would be defrauded of
the gift. But it would be just as wrong to fail to remind one
another that any gift not motivated by love and given cheerfully has no
profit for the giver! (1 Cor. 13:3) [Victor Bible Background
Paul wanted the Corinthians to give generously toward a
fund-raising project to help needy Christians. He linked generosity with
spiritual benefits: the more one gives, the more one benefits (vv. 6-11).
This principle goes beyond financial giving. At work, for
example, you may donate toward the local United Way. But when a coworker
asks for some of your time to talk about a problem, what is your
response? Do you give your attention generously or grudgingly? When your
boss gives you a special assignment, do you give the project just
enough attention to get it over with, or do you jump in wholeheartedly
with energy and creativity?
What about your time and emotional energy after hours? When
your spouse or children need you, do you make yourself available
generously or grudgingly? Do you give a fair contribution of yourself to
assignments that you've volunteered for, or just a token effort?
We are constant recipients of God's generous grace. He
promises that if we will give of ourselves, He'll enable us to have an
abundance of resources for the work to which He has called us (v. 8).
[Word In Life SB]
The more spiritual seeds we plant by generously helping others,
the greater will be our harvest of spiritual fruit. God never
forces us to give; he wants us to give with a willing heart. This
shows that God is not only interested in what we do; he is also
interested in the attitudes and motives behind our actions. Some of us may
feel that we don't have much to offer people in need. Our life may
be destroyed; we may have gone into debt to support a destructive
habit. But even if we have nothing else to give, we can share our life
with them. We can share the story of how God gave us a second
chance. As little as this may seem to us, it may be the gift of live to
someone in the throes of an addiction. [Life Recovery SB]
The mind grows by taking in, but the heart grows by giving out.
MINI DEVOTIONAL VIDEO ON THIS PASSAGE
Giving With a Cheerful Heart -