The Lord loves a cheerful giver

“…the Lord loves a cheerful giver.” (2 Corinthians 9:7)

When people think of you, does the word “generous” get mentioned?  Are you a generous person by nature?  Now for a moment, though I am a preacher, I don’t want you to think about church offerings.   But in other areas of your life, are you more open-handed or close-fisted?  Do you freely share what is yours, or are you as likely to hoard and cling to the blessings and resources God has given?

This is a very serious question.  Generosity is the mark of a person who is winning the war of selfishness that every person is engaged in.  No one is exempt:  Not a child or preschooler, not a young adult or an octogenarian.  We all do war with selfishness on an ongoing basis at some level.

The only effective weapon to be triumphant in this battle is the weapon of generosity.  Jesus said what we give away in this life we will keep, and what we keep we will lose.  One of the radical changes Jesus brings to our heart at salvation is an orientation to defeat the raging selfishness that lives in us.

So, generosity is more than just a nice character trait.  It is a sign of a person who is winning this war that so many lose.  When we live focused solely on “me” and “mine,” we have lost the battle.  And ironically, the more we keep the smaller we become.

And yes, the matter of generosity impacts what we give to the Lord’s offering.  But it’s more than just a matter of a Sunday decision.  Generosity should affect every dimension of life, from our parenting to our friendships to our work.

It is generosity that brings a rare hilarity and lightness to our lives.  I have never… let me underscore the word… NEVER… met a miserable, generous person.   But I have encountered plenty of miserable, selfish people.

Practice generosity.  Daily.  Give even when it isn’t asked of you.  Give even to someone you may not know.

Be generous, and let God show you how He keeps His Word.

Generosity is a joyful path.  The alternative is a road you don’t want to travel.

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