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. 8 And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: “They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever.” (Psalm 112:9)
2 Corinthians 9:6-9
So Paul says Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously and in the Gospel of Mark, Jesus said
24 “Consider carefully what you hear. With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. 25 Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what they have will be taken from them.”
Although they are speaking of two different things, the principle remains the same. However, Paul lets us know this is not a principle in a vacuum. You cannot give grudgingly or out of some sort of obligation. No, the giving has to come from the heart for God loves a cheerful giver. Yesterday we quoted Matthew 23 where Jesus stated
23 Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former.
Jesus was not only making the point they should have done what they were doing in giving even 10% of their spices while neglecting justice, mercy and faithfulness. He was also poking at them for being so careful when they gave 10% of their spices, they were careful to do exactly that and no more. It was a requirement they were meeting. Their giving was not out of their hearts, was not given cheerfully or gladly. If it had been, would they have neglected the more important matters of the law? I think not.
Unlike Jesus, Paul cannot see the truth in anyone’s heart, but he knows God can see what is in the heart. Thus Paul gives the instruction, give what you have decided in your heart to give, for God loves a cheerful giver. Then what happens if you have decided in your heart to give and give cheerfully? Because you have done so Paul states having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. You will end up doing more and more that is in God’s will so that you will abound in every good work. This is very much like what Jesus said above, With the measure you use, it will be measured to you—and even more. Whoever has will be given more. Let’s be clear, this is not some version of getting rich as some will preach, instead this is how one comes closer and closer to living in God’s will.
Not too sure about who or where your giving should go? Paul provides direction there as well when he quotes Psalm 112:9 They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor; their righteousness endures forever. Freely giving and giving with a cheerful heart results in a righteousness that endures forever. If you go to Psalm 112 and read it you will also find about the righteous in the two prior verses:
7 They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the Lord.
8 Their hearts are secure, they will have no fear; in the end they will look in triumph on their foes.
This righteousness does not result from some self-centered action, but heartfelt giving, cheerful giving, and giving that is scattered among the poor. What is the nature of your giving? Heartfelt? Cheerful?