People get all messed up about money. One of the big complaints today about churches is “all they ever talk about is money.” Objective analysis, however, of that assertion reveals it is simply not true! The fact is that many who make that claim are very preoccupied with money themselves.
When an opportunity to give is presented how do we respond… with griping? Or do we respond with greatness of heart and glad generosity?
I thought about that this morning as I read an account in the Bible of what I would call “contagious generosity.” Here’s what the Bible records…
“Moses said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, ‘This is the thing that the Lord has commanded. Take from among you a contribution to the Lord. Whoever is of a generous heart, let him bring the Lord’s contribution… Then all the congregation of the people of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. And they came everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the Lord’s contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments. So they came both men and women. All who were of a willing heart… every man dedicating an offering… and everyone who possessed something… Everyone who could make a contribution… Every skillful woman brought what they had made… And the leaders brought… All the men and women whose heart moved them… they brought it as a freewill offering to the Lord.” (From Exodus 35:1-29)
And here’s “contagious generosity” exhibited in the New Testament: “I want you to know about the grace of God that has been given among the churches of Macedonia, for in a severe test of affliction, their abundance of joy and their extreme poverty over flowed in a wealth of generosity on their part. For they gave according to their means, as I can testify, and beyond their means, of their own accord, begging earnestly for the favor of taking part in the relief of the saints – and this not as we expected, but they give themselves for to the Lord and by the will of God to us.” (2 Corinthians 8:1-5)
No grousing, no complaining, no reluctance… moved by a generous heart and a willing spirit they responded to the need and the Lord’s command! I want my giving always to be characterized by that! Here it what Apostle Paul urged: “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver!” (7 Corinthians 9:7) … “Contagious generosity” – that’s what we need, not “griping givers!” People who see a need, and listen to the Lord, and allow their hearts to move them to generosity. I want to be that kind of giver!