"Thanks be to God for His inexpressible gift!"
(2 Corinthians 9:15).
"Giving" can become as controversial a topic to discuss with other Christians as can be talking of the differences of political parties leading up to an election. Opinions trump the heart of Scripture, emotions are driven to an all-time high, and perception on what is said serves as a greater gauge for reality than the heart of what was actually said. So it has become, at times, with the topic of giving. There are so many who have become very uncomfortable and somewhat disillusioned when a pastor, evangelist, or the like speak on the top of giving. There is an immediate wall that goes up, cynicism that sets in, and pocket books that close tight. Yes, a lot of it has to do with abuses by those that have claimed to have spoken from God. However, in all that we ever do, let us be brought back to the attitude of our hearts.
Paul, in this letter to the Church in regards to giving, was seeking to enlighten their understanding that their motivation in regards to generosity should be an overflow response of the generosity of God. It was His gift of love, grace, forgiveness, and salvation that had given them the hope to continue, persevere, and succeed.
There's not a single one of us that deserve this gift, this love. Jesus came because of love. He didn't come because we had earned it. He came and He gave because He knew that we couldn't earn it. John 3:16 wraps up the purpose of Christ and the heart of God so perfectly. "God so loved the entire world that He gave His only Son..." We can love others because He loved us first. We can give because He first gave. When we give, let us be reminded to give in the likeness of the generosity that He gave.
Don't allow cynicism to infect your heart to give. Although it is wise to be a good steward of your finances, your time, and your life, you have been called to generous living. When you give, don't see it as giving to a person, a church, or even a cause. Give as unto the Lord, for He first gave. If God calls you to give, then give. It's not yours. If the gift you give is mishandled, misused, or mismanaged, it is up to God. The gift becomes God's property and God's problem, and He is much better at avenging and setting the record straight than you or I could ever hope to be. Choose to allow your life to be marked by a loving, cheerful, and radical generosity that helps to paint the picture for others to see of the generous, undeserving, life-changing gift we have in the love of Jesus Christ.