5 So I thought it necessary to urge the brothers to visit you in advance and finish the arrangements for the generous gift you had promised. Then it will be ready as a generous gift, not as one grudgingly given. 6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 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 9:5-7 (NIV)
What does giving generously mean? How much should I give in order to be generous? Do I have to tithe (give 10%)? Do I have to give until I have nothing left? These are all good questions. But, in this passage the Apostle Paul isn’t focusing on the size of our gifts. Rather, he’s concerned about our attitude, our heart in giving. Generosity begins in my heart, not my wallet.
On Monday we looked at giving cheerfully (2 Corinthians 9:7). When my heart is in my giving, I’ll give cheerfully; and I’ll also give generously. The Corinthian Christians were moved by the needs of the people in Jerusalem, so they were eager to give generously to help alleviate those needs. Paul didn’t have to push them. They wanted to give, so they gave generously. Their hearts were in it, and their wallets followed.
If you find yourself having difficulty giving generously, don’t just write a bigger check. Start by prayerfully examining your heart. Are you excited about what God is doing? Do you want to be part of it? Are you moved by the needs of others? If not, ask God to give you a heart for what He’s doing. Ask Him to give you the same kind of love for others that He has. Ask Him to give you a heart like His. Where your heart leads, your money will follow.