If you want to give, your gift will be accepted.
It will be judged by what you have, not by what you do not have.
– 2 Corinthians 8:12 (NCV)
Usually, back when I was starting out in church, I would always hear the deacon say a prayer for the offering that somehow included the Lord’s love for a “cheerful giver.” That always seemed to hit home in its own way. The Lord, as shared by Paul to the believers at Corinth, does indeed love cheerful givers. Yet, we may miss the mark if we fail to see the principles that Paul shared within the context of his message in 2 Corinthians.
Giving is noble. The Christian is expected to give to worthy causes and unmet needs. However, we should not be left feeling guilty when we hear someone else quote Malachi as if we are in the midst of robbing God. We may have it in hearts to give, but we may not have it in possession to give like we desire. In essence, Paul clarifies the matter by stating: It will be judged by what you have, not by what you do not have. That means that you cannot worry about what you do not have to give. Your concern should be about what you have to give and your willingness to give it. Jesus shared so when He pointed out the faith of the widow who gave two mites. It was not the quantity of her gift that was impressive. It was the depths to which she dug into what she did have in possession that caught Jesus’ attention and caused Him to call attention to her act of willingness.
God wants us willing to give. We may have big hearts with small budgets. God can bless us beyond where we are today. We are not looking for the blessing out of giving since we are already blessed with “true riches” (Luke 16:11). We have to be willing to give of what we have without seeking to gain what we desire. We should give with no strings attached. We should give to God’s glory, not seeking approval or kudos from others. When we give according to the right principles, God is pleased and we can be assured that our gifts are accepted by Him.
Give with a willing heart. Give out of what you have. Give that God may be glorified through your gifts.