I have been thinking about this for many days and finally decided to share my thoughts on it. In 2 Corinthians 9:7 it says,
"So let each one give as he purposes in his heart, not grudgingly or of necessity; for God loves a cheerful giver."
I have been pondering about what it really means and looks like to give cheerfully. See a lot of times we give out of need (go read the verse above again and look at what it says, "not grudgingly or of necessity...") or we give because we will get something in return. Our world is selfish because in the flesh we are selfish, but we don't have to be remain that way or live that way. Jesus did give us a way out (the Cross). You see it all the time "call now and pledge to give _______ amount a week and we'll send you..." or "Buy this and we'll send ________ amount to _______ organization", but very rarely do people simply give because they want to help someone.
I'm not pointing the finger at anyone. I, too have been guilty of only giving to get. I confess and repent of that. I don't want to live like that anymore. I want to give cheerfully. I believe it reflects the heart of God Himself. He gave His Son for me that I might live for Him. He loves me even though I mess up all the time. That is true giving. Giving is sacrificing something and expecting nothing in return. Is it easy? No. Is it convenient? No. Is it worth it? Yes. I want to give everything I have. To God and to others. But if you do not want to do this, then don't. Give what you feel led to give. Don't give the biggest because everyone else is. You'll probably later regret it (and that would be giving grudgingly), give what you feel at peace with. If that is the absolute best you can give then that's great! If not, that's okay. It may take time to give without regret and give cheerfully. Pray about it. And then just do it. You'll see that "being a blessing is better than recieving a blessing."
This week I will be looking for one opportunity (or more God willing) to give something cheerfully without expecting a thing in return. I challenge you to do the same. Stay blessed.