(This is my church’s newsletter article for our October edition)
Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
-- 2 Corinthians 9: 6-8
In October, our church will focus on the power and responsibility of stewardship. I went back to previous articles I’ve written to fill this space on the theme of stewardship, and I found an interesting definition of stewardship. Stewardship is about the embracing of a relationship and investing in that relationship in order for the best to come forth.
This passage from 2 Corinthians has everything to do with acting out of generosity. Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. Stewardship is in operation when you’re deciding in your heart to give cheerfully because you’re investing in a relationship you’ve decided to take part in in order for the best to come forth.
What’s interesting is what Paul declares before and after. If you give generously, you’ll reap generously. Then, in light of cheerfully giving, God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. All grace will abound to us out of cheerful giving and every good work will abound. There will be an abundance of good work because grace is an empowering force in and through generous believers. Wow!
In ministry, I give out of what I’ve been given. I give because I owe you something. I’ve been given all grace in abundance through what I’ve been given and what I cheerfully give. I owe you encounters with God through the grace given to me. I don’t do it reluctantly or under compulsion. I want you to taste of what I’ve received, what has been imparted to me, what has been cheerfully given to me. It’s all come to me through relationships, some long lasting and others spontaneously and short-lived.
I want you to receive the goodness of God every time we come together. To me, this is a key to my good stewardship. This is my cheerful giving, and the wonderful thing is that I’ll receive more in order to give you more later. I hope this is a good example for you to follow as a stewardship of what good you’ve received. Give what has blessed you.