Fear or Joy: Wealth, Prosperity, and Giving, Part 5

Dear friends, I’ve been reflecting lately on the blessings of my life. This is the final post on my reflections of wealth and prosperity under the scrutiny of I Timothy 6:17-19 and 2 Corinthians 9. Click here to read Part 4.

2 Corinthians 9: 7-8

“Now I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

I feel compelled to reflect further on the motivation and results of giving. I was reminded again yesterday of the grip upon many of us regarding the ‘tithe’ requirements demanded by some churches.  One of my readers emailed me about the lack of freedom she feels to give freely and with joy. Her church insists that 10% must be fully given to the church she attends before she can give to other ministries. I do not believe this is a sound biblical view of New Testament giving.


Do it or else… 

It’s not easy to shed ourselves of the concept of a tithe. For further discussions on tithing, you can review my posts Don’t Tithe, Heart-Felt Giving, and Get Back To It.

Unfortunately, in many cases, leaders often resort to “primal” motivation to influence those they lead. Primal motivation simply means ‘do this or else.‘  Christian giving has nothing to do with the tithe or with set, defined amounts. It is all about giving (sowing) according to your heart’s desire, with joy, happiness, peace and contentment. It’s all about Spirit-led giving. The result will be reaping the blessings of God, both now and in eternity, so that your joy is enriched even further and you are able to give even more, compounding your joy even further.  

Biblical giving isn’t about primal motivation (appealing to our fear and guilt); it is spiritual motivation. Motivation that reaches to the depth of our inner spirit. It means being enriched by God’s Spirit resulting in JOY, PEACE AND CONTENTMENT. 

 …God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.”  

To those of us who “purpose” in our heart to give (give thoughtfully, prayerfully and wisely); give without regret or compulsion (without external coercion); and give with JOY; God promises to provide us a return of abundant grace.   

Now in the context, make sure to catch this; ‘grace’ includes financial and material means. If you doubt it, read verse 8-11 carefully. Now I detest the “gospel of wealth” movement that perverts the Word and teaches a spiritual formula to be rich (which isn’t spiritual at all). So, don’t let this false teaching rob you of what Paul is teaching here. Sow bountifully and you will reap bountifully. 


The result of joyful giving is:

1) all sufficiency in everything

2) abundance to give more and more for every good deed.

Just like the natural financial miracle of “compounding interest”, God’s pattern of giving compounds as we give joyfully, receive back more to give, we give more, receive more joy and blessings, then we give more, then we receive more, then we give more and we receive more and so on. The blessings of grace are both material as well as eternal.  


How then should we live? 

Let’s engage in the pursuit of joyful giving. Where should you give? When should you give? How much should you give? Pray, reflect, discuss it with your loved ones. Let joy be your guide.  

Consider being sacrificial; consider stretching yourself; but pray and reflect and then let joy in the Spirit be your guide. If you lack joy and instead have fear, then seek God in prayer. Ask Him to replace your fear with joy and faith. Then by faith, give a little and let God do a work in your heart. Then give more and then more.  

Lord, may we grow in our love for You and then may we give as you have given to us…. grace upon grace upon grace. Amen.