Cheerful giving is the gospel. It’s an emblem of God’s happy plan of redemption through Christ Jesus. To restore us and our world, God didn’t hold back with a grimace but joyfully went all-in.
That’s giving. That’s God.
Reflecting this truth, the Apostle Paul gave this enduring principle: “God loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Cor. 9:7, NIV)
Grumpiness spoils giving. It says, “I’m only partly convinced God’s really got me, so I really want to hold onto this gift. But I’ll give it anyway.”
Even worse, grumpy giving is contagious. Why would anyone start to give after seeing the frowning face of a grumpy giver?
Cheerful givers, however, send all the right messages—about God, about how grace works and about what trusting God to provide looks like. Specifically, cheerful givers have confidence that God is control and provides no matter the circumstance. By displaying a quiet calm and joyful confidence, they demonstrate that God really is in control.
This explains why cheerful givers refuse to squeeze the daylights out of their wealth. They know that their security and future doesn’t hinge on this world’s currency. Even if the world falls to pieces, they know God’s got them.
This confidence makes it possible for cheerful givers to invent new ways of giving. And when others see this winsome living, they too want its freedom and power. By first turning to God, they see their own abundance and begin to give cheerfully.
The bottom line is that cheerful giving multiplies and grows God’s fame. It’s never about a gift’s size or its extravagance; instead, it’s always about putting the spotlight on God and His goodness.
Gifts that don’t accomplish this miss God’s mark for giving. If giving is going to be the gospel, it has to be cheerful.
And if it’s not, just keep it!