The Challenge of Radical Generosity

Consider this: God doesn't care how much you give. God does care about the condition of your heart when you give.

"God loves a cheerful giver." It is from Scripture, II Corinthians 9:7, and more than a motivational saying. God cares more about how and why you give than about what you give.

To say that God loves a cheerful giver is to acknowledge that there are other ways of giving. Some give out of compulsion, either to avoid punishment or to impress others. Some give reluctantly, letting it be known that they give under protest, complaining all the way. Some give as little as possible, not trusting God to provide for them. Some give as an investment, expecting something in return. All for short of what God wants, which is radical generosity, cheerful giving.

Why does God love the cheerful giver? Because God is more concerned about the giver than about the gift. God's priority is to grow us into mature, healthy followers of Jesus. Whatever it is that God wants to get done, he could get it done without our contribution. He is more concerned that we benefit from the gift that we are giving. He wants us to be happy. He wants us to take delight in our generosity. He wants us to be cheerful.

A quick survey of the Bible tells us that God is the ultimate giver. He created the heavens and the earth, the night and the day, the seas and the dry land, and it was all a gift. Each day is a gift. Your life is a gift. The things in your life you value most are gifts. God is the great giver, and he loves doing it. And he wants you, in your limited and mortal way, to have the same joy. God wants you to be a cheerful giver.

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