According to an apocryphal story, when someone asked John D. Rockefeller how much money is enough, he replied, “Just a little more.” Today’s passage reveals that the secret to Christian giving is not the amount of money one has but an awareness of God’s generosity. Those who give recognize that God has supplied all they possess (v. 10). Our giving begins with God’s gift given to us.
In these verses, Paul outlines the marks of Spirit-motivated giving. First, it is freely offered. Verse 7 explains: “Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.” If we think that by our giving we can manipulate God into giving us more, we have missed the point. However, Paul notes that those who give will find that God will provide for them as well (vv. 8–11).
Second, the aim of Christian giving is not prosperity but praise. We give so that others’ needs will be met and God will get the glory (vv. 12–13). Paul describes Christians who give as channels of divine generosity. Although the money may pass through our hands, ultimately, it is God who is doing the giving.
Third, those who are on the receiving end have something to offer as well. Although they may not be able to contribute financially, they can respond with grateful prayers (v. 14). Our generosity is not limited to money alone. Although money is important, many of the needs that people have lie outside the financial realm. They need friendship or encouragement. We can also be generous with our time, our praise, and our prayers.
>> The greatest reward of giving is not measured in financial return. It is that we get to be a channel of God’s generosity to others. As the old song says, “Channels only, blessed Master, But with all Thy wondrous power. Flowing through us, Thou canst use us, Every day and every hour.”
“Take my silver and my gold; not a mite would I withhold. Take my intellect and use every power as thou shalt choose.” With the words of this classic hymn, we offer everything we have to You, Lord God.