Have you ever heard something like that? Well it’s from Paul’s letters to the Corinthians.
Being joyful in our giving is not some stewardship ploy. It is a biblical principal that we are to grow in our generosity and that we discover the joy of giving.
I want to share with you three stories that have happened since I have been your pastor. I had only been here a half a day on the job when I was visiting with Tim and Carolyn Maund. We began on the subject of stewardship. Tim and I got into a conversation on giving. Then Tim stopped and said, “There is something I want to give you.” Sure enough he went back into his office and brought me a One Million Dollar bill and gave it to the church. Not bad for a half a day’s work I said, and then we had a great laugh.
How many times have I heard people say things like, “Well if I had money I would gladly give it to the Lord.” There are those who are frozen in their understanding to give and have missed out on the joy. You don’t have to wait until you hit the lottery to give joyfully; you can do it right now. It might take some practice.
About the 3rd week I was here, as I was standing in the back shaking hands following the worship service, a little boy maybe 4 years old, with the encouragement of his mother, handed me a quarter. I could see he had two quarters in his hand, and he gave me one to give to the church. I couldn’t tell for certain if he was joyful about it or not. There seemed to be some hesitation. But just think: he just gave 50% of all he had.
Who taught you about giving? Did you watch your grandparents put a check in the offering plate every week? Did your parents give you an allowance and instruct you to give 10% of your money to the church? Have we not taught our children about giving and the joy of giving? I am afraid the modern church has failed in teaching this great principal.
Finally, I received a note from someone who said they had been giving three thousand dollars a year to the church and wanted to change their pledge to forty-thousand dollars a year. This was someone who had a spiritual awakening and was thrilled and happy to do so.
Whether we give or pledge a million, a quarter, or forty-thousand dollars: whatever it is, God wants us to be cheerful about it. The thing is we don’t “have to” give; we “get to” give.
Giving makes a joyful heart!
Will you pray about becoming more joyful in your giving?