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Being Generous Isn’t About How Much You Give

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Being Generous Isn’t About How Much You Give
BY RICK WARREN — DECEMBER 19, 2015

“You must decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” (2 Corinthians 9:7 NLT, second edition)

Christmas isn’t primarily about compassion. It’s about generosity. First and foremost it’s about God’s generosity toward us that was demonstrated when he gave his one and only Son so that we could have new life.

Because of this truth, as we are in the Christmas season, there’s no better attitude we can develop than generosity. Being generous isn’t about how much you give. The amount is irrelevant. It’s all about your attitude! The Bible says, “Whatever you give is acceptable if you give it eagerly. And give according to what you have, not what you don’t have” (2 Corinthians 8:12 NLT, second edition).

Generosity isn’t about your wealth; it’s about your willingness — to help others, to show love to other people, and to honor God.

In 2 Corinthians 9:7, God gives us three specific characteristics of an attitude of authentic generosity: “You must decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”

This kind of biblical generosity is:

Always thoughtful. “You must decide in your heart …” You need to think about how much you’re going to give. Don’t do it impulsively or emotionally. You make up your own mind — and you plan it.
Always voluntary. “Don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure.” Never, ever, ever give out of guilt. When you do, you don’t get credit for it, and it won’t grow your heart.
Always cheerful. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.” The word “cheerful” in the Bible is the Greek word “hilarious.” You know the word we get from that — “hilarious.” If you can’t give hilariously, don’t. Just be a Grinch. Be a miser. Be a Scrooge. You don’t get any credit for giving unless you give to somebody cheerfully.
Be generous with your giving. Again, it’s not about the amount you give — it doesn’t have to be about money at all. You can be generous with your time or with your talents. Whatever you give, do it thoughtfully, voluntarily, and cheerfully.

Talk It Over

Why is your attitude important when giving?
Of the three characteristics of biblical generosity (thoughtful, voluntary, and cheerful), which do you find the toughest to apply? Why do you think this is so?
Can you tell when someone gives something to you but one or all of the elements are absent? How have you responded to that?
Give hope, prayer, and encouragement below. Post a comment & talk about it.

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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • ICECUB
    emoticon emoticon
    2012 days ago
  • CARI_JANE
    Linda, there are other ways of giving besides buying gifts. You can give of yourself in various ways. You can give a smile to those who need a smile. Give a hug. Help someone out with a small chore.
    2012 days ago
  • LOULOUWLG403
    But what if you can't give at all for a long time due to filing bankruptcy. You file bankruptcy because you can't pay off your creditors. If you can't pay off your creditors, how can you give anything to Jesus. I call it my Jesus money. My Family
    has told me not to give them Christmas gifts. Which I haven't since I retired 2 years
    ago. I'm hoping after the bankruptcy is over, I don't have to pay anything else. I hope you have a Blessed Day on the Lord's Day! LYL!
    2012 days ago
  • no profile photo CD3934996
    I do nothing that where anyone thinks I do it for expecting something back or looking to see what they will think that I want something later.. I do a lot of things in Secret and I have been able to watch and see what happens when they receive it.. I thank God for all the Pastors that do remain quiet and not tell what or where it came from.. I thank them for it... If you receive a Blessing from someone.. Do not look where it cam from... Thank God that it came just when you needed it. In His Grace Just Me emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2012 days ago
  • TREKPURRSON
    emoticon God loves a person who gives cheerfully! Amen! thanks for sharing, Cari Jane! emoticon emoticon
    2012 days ago
  • TRAVELGAL417
    emoticon

    2013 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15822068
    Sometimes, a smile, a hug, a listening ear or just being there for others is the greatest gift we can give. It shines forth the light of Jesus, our Savior. Merry Christmas all. Judy

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
    2013 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15649569
    It's the thought that counts
    2013 days ago
  • NEPTUNE1939
    emoticon emoticon
    2013 days ago
  • CARI_JANE
    I was always taught that it's the thought that counts, not the price. emoticon
    2013 days ago
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