ARE YOU A JOYFUL GIVER OR A MISERLY GIVER?
Are you a joyful giver or a miserly giver? Do you find happiness in giving or do you give with hesitation or a begrudging attitude? If you’re giving with an attitude, it may be time for a heart check-up!
I’ve been thinking a lot about giving lately due to the Christmas Season. ‘Tis the season for giving along with the relentless marketing that surrounds this time of year. As a characterized giver (if you’re new to my blog, I’m a giver). I find myself fascinated during the holidays by the amount of giving that takes place with the sole purpose of receiving.
Definition of a Giver
Let me backtrack for a moment. I mentioned that I’m a giver – one of my top three ministry gifts from the Lifeway Ministry Gifts Inventory. Here’s the definition of a giver from the ministry gifts inventory:
Giving – Persons gifted in the area of giving have the ability to give material goods and financial resources with joy so that the needs of the Lord’s work are met. They often can discern wise investments and usually are effective money managers. They want to give quietly without recognition and are encouraged when they know needs are being met, and prayers are being answered. These persons are more likely to give at the Lord’s promptings than at humans appeals. They have the ability to see financial needs others may overlook. (Ministry Gifts Inventory adapted from Ministry and Temperament Evaluation, Bellevue Baptist Church, Michael Miller.)
The Motivation Behind Our Giving
I love to give my time, talents, and resources to individuals, nonprofits, and community organizations. You could say that I thrive in the giving department. I also love to build and create, so it’s easy to understand why I am so involved in my community, it’s important to me (my values) that I give back and encourage others to do the same. However, lately I’ve seen an increase in giving, which is awesome, but I find myself questioning the motivation behind the giving. I then ask myself if I should be questioning the intentions of another as I question my own motivation or purpose for giving.
My resource is always the Bible, so I spent some time in reflection as I read through scripture on giving. I love The Message translation of Matthew 6:1-4,
The World Is Not a Stage
“Be especially careful when you are trying to be good so that you don’t make a performance out of it. It might be good theater, but the God who made you won’t be applauding. When you do something for someone else, don’t call attention to yourself. You’ve seen them in action, I’m sure— ‘playactors’ I call them—treating prayer meeting and street corner alike as a stage, acting compassionate as long as someone is watching, playing to the crowds. They get applause, true, but that’s all they get. When you help someone out, don’t think about how it looks. Just do it—quietly and unobtrusively. That is the way your God, who conceived you in love, working behind the scenes, helps you out.”
I just love the last sentence reminding us that God is working behind the scenes, our job is to serve quietly and unobtrusively.
Giving with the Right Intention
When we give, let’s remember the words of Matthew 6 and give for the glory of God, help those in need, and give with a joyous heart because we know God loves a cheerful giver.
“Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” 2 Corinthians 9:7 (ESV)
Giving is a Privilege
Are you a cheerful giver? Are you giving for applaud or recognition?When we give, we should “check” our motivations and intentions and give from the heart. Click To Tweet
Whether giving is one of our spiritual gifts or not, we are called to love one another and to give. I’ve heard it said that giving is a privilege and we are giving out of thankfulness for what we have been given. Are you giving with a grateful heart? Are you giving because you are called to give?
I pray you will take a moment to reflect on your giving this Christmas Season. Seek out those in need and give with a joyful heart. There are numerous charities in your hometown or nationally that could use your support. A few of my favorite charities are FAITH Neighborhood Center, Compassion International, and Operation Christmas Child. All three charities have a focus on children and families so let’s make a difference in someone’s life this Christmas Season and give with a joyful heart! Won’t you join me?
“Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” James 1:17 (NIV)
Image Credit ReyniRzIllustrations