The Provision Question
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
Bumping up against a God who is marked by generosity ought to have a transforming effect on us. When we follow him, we walk on paths of generosity because that’s where he’s walking.
God’s work around us and for us begins to do something in us. One of our main barriers to generosity is the anxious question in our hearts: “Am I going to be taken care of?” When we’re unsure of whether or not we’re going to be taken care of, we dig in our heels and tighten our grips. It’s tough to be generous when you feel insecure.
But when we experience God’s generosity toward us and become convinced that this is his whole-hearted, gracious disposition toward us, we experience a profound freedom to share and give generously to the people who God has placed in our lives.
Cheerful giving is a litmus-test for genuine, authentic faith. Even those who have very little wealth will find ways to give generous gifts of time, attention, thoughtfulness, service and love if their hearts are filled to the brim with confidence in God’s generosity. When we find ourselves speaking with Scrooge-like, Grinch-like language around the holidays, we discover something about the state of our hearts and our relationship with God.
All year long the culture around us invites us to accumulate for ourselves. At Christmas-time, everything takes a sharp, right turn. We’re pushed to be generous. Our response to this push toward generosity is telling. Do we find cheerfulness? Do we find grumpiness?
Embrace the revelation about your heart that Christmas gift-giving provides. How do you find yourself responding to the cultural push toward gift-giving this holiday season?