You know what is so fascinating about God? He is a Giver. Like his nature is Love; it is also Giver.
We miss the biggest blessings because we keep what we have–money, time, things, patience–to ourselves.
Christians talk about wanting to be like Jesus, but I think we fall woefully short in the giving part. You know how many pastors have to apologize before they talk about giving or tithing? It’s because their congregation is stingy! There are other words for that, but you get the picture.
Paul bragged on the Macedonian churches because of their severe giving. What a word to use to describe giving! The NIV says it this way “Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own , they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.” 2nd Cor 8:2-4 Wow! What a description!
Notice the words he uses severe trial, overflowing joy, extreme poverty, rich generosity. Okay, I said severe giving–but don’t you see it there? Out of their lack, they gave. My brother tells of his two weeks in Indonesia–joining my mother’s missionary work there–and how in one village in the jungle the people killed their only chicken for the visitors to eat. This is giving we don’t hear about in America, even among Christians. At least, I don’t. Yes, I give; but on that kind of scale? No.
Paul further describes the Macedonian churches as urgently pleading for the privilege of giving–and sharing in this service. What?! Pleading with them to take what they (the churches) wanted to give. In other words, maybe Paul had said, “No, you don’t have enough to give. Keep it for yourselves.” And they pleaded with him, “No, take this. Please let us give to you.” Astounding? Yes.
Look further. “Entirely on their own…” Double WOW! Neither their pastor nor Paul had to get up there and try to convince them it was Godly to give. They already knew it, wanted to do it; and, what is more, knew it was a privilege.
God honors us by allowing us (he gives seed to the sower) to give, and yet we treat his Gift as if it was something to despise, to look down on.
How do you rate as a giver? You will have to decide. All I know is that I need to seek God to help me out of my selfishness (I give money easier than my time!). I need to see God as he is–the magnificent Giver–and let him change me.
I would love to hear from you. God bless!
Linda K. Rodante is the author of The Dangerous Series: Amber Alert, As Long As You Both Shall Live, Splashdown and Looking for Justice are Christian romantic suspense books on sale at Amazon. Author website and blog: lindarodante.com