We all understand God is the giver, and He wants us to be givers as well.
But before you give, there are some things you must understand.
First, give yourself as you give your money.
Many people make giving a legalistic enterprise. Or, they make it a quid pro quo. They give to God, and they expect God to give to them.
Giving must be more than finding a way to get more. It must be a giving of self to God that He may grow us through the experience.
The Apostle Paul used the Macedonians as an example for the people at Corinth: “but first they gave themselves to the Lord” (2 Corinthians 8:5).
Second, give your best to God. In the Old testament, giving one’s best was at the top of spiritual requirements.
David talked about not giving anything that didn’t cost him something (2 Samuel 24:24).
In Leviticus, God required that they give their best animals for sacrifice. You can see what a struggle that had to be because giving the best animals meant that they were giving their future.
They had to trust God with their present and their future. When we give our best, we are trusting God with our present and our future.
Third, if you’re going to give, give cheerfully. Don’t make it a transaction (I give to God and he gives me more) and certainly don’t make it a drudgery.
God does want a cheerful giver. “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” (2 Corinthians 9:7).
Sometimes, I hear people say, “I don’t give because I can’t give cheerfully.” That is not what this verse means. It means, “get your self cheerful as soon as possible.”
It also means to look carefully at why you are giving. Cheerful giving will be because of our desire to worship, glorify, and please God. It will be because of our deep gratitude for God’s goodness and blessings.
It will be for the purpose of helping others experience what we have found in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Your giving will be good for you, and it will bless you. Be sure to grow closer to God in the process by giving cheerfully, doing your best, and giving yourself to God first.