An apprehensive giver?

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2 Corinthians 9:The point is this: the one who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and the one who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each of you must give as you have made up your mind, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work.

Here the apostle Paul encourages the believers in Corinth to have a collection ready when he arrives. They are giving to support persecuted Christians in Jerusalem. I appreciate his description of a “cheerful giver”. When we trust that the Lord will always provide for our needs, we can enjoy blessing others with a financial gift.

That said, for most of us learning to grow in our giving, we don’t start out being cheerful givers. This is particularly true before the practice of tithing (returning to God 10% of our income) is built into our personal budget. When we’re getting started, we’re often giving money we don’t think we have. It’s normal to be scary or anxious at first. There’s no shame in that. It’s part of the growth process.

Yet as we begin to see the Lord fulfilling the promise of providing for our needs, even as we give away 10%+ of our income, apprehension turns to joy. It’s fun giving stuff away, isn’t it?

Lord you are so good to us. Give us grace to trust you with our entire lives, including our financial lives. And give strength to those just getting started in the practice of tithing. We pray this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

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